By Nyasha N Mukapiko
The portfolio committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on Thursday unanimously agreed Minister Patrick Zhuwao to be summoned before the committee to answer questions concerning consultancy work which was done by Triple Bottom Line (3BL) Consultant Company.
The decision was reached after Permanent Secretary George Magosvongwe in the same Ministry gave contradicting evidence with 3BL when they appeared before the same committee in May.
Perm Sec Magosvongwe told the committee that the Ministry had never went into a consultancy agreement and neither was there any engagement contract between 3BL and the Ministry but indicated that 3BL had drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was turned down by the Attorney Generals (AG) after submission.
“The attorney general gave an opinion and returned an amended draft proposal of the MoU and advised the Ministry to tender for such services in terms of the State Procurement Act and the Ministry proceeded to advice the company of that particular circumstance”, Perm Sec Magosvongwe said.
In his presentation Magosvongwe also denies to have had held meetings with 3BL but admitted to have engaged them just like any other person who approaches Ministry.
Hon Justice Mayor Wadyajena Chairperson of the committee was then prompted to fork out the minutes which were in their possession as a proof of meetings between 3BL and the Ministry after the Perm Sec had denied to have had any meeting.
Perm Sec Magosvongwe confirmed authenticity that the minutes were from the ministry but denied to have taken part in the meeting and authorize the release of minutes to 3BL.
The Permanent Secretary indicated that procedurally there were no Ministry documents which goes out without his permission to do so, implicating Minister Zhuwao by totally disowning and refusing to be associated with the minutes.
When 3BL director Thandiwe Ngwenya brought the minutes before the committee she revealed to have called minister Zhuwao who then handed her over the minutes without Perm Sec Magosvongwe’s knowledge.
Perm Sec Magosvongwe also enlightened the committee that 3BL had approached the Ministry demanding payment which he claimed to have turned down as the Ministry had never assigned an work to the 3BL however the Finance director Emmanuel Ngwarati argued against the Perm Sec.
The leader of the committee Hon Wadyajena warned Ngwarati that he was in contempt of parliament for giving false evidence and encouraged the finance director to tell the truth which the jittery Ngwarati never did.
When Permanent Secretary Magosvongwe was asked how they had come to know 3BL he narrated that Minister Zhuwao had introduced her to him as Thandi Ngwenya and not as 3BL.
Last month Thandiwe Ngwenya told the committee that she had known Zhuwao long back in South Africa before his appointment as Minister of Youth until to date.
Ngwenya told the committee her company had voluntarily carried some consultancy for the Ministry bearing in mind that they were going to clinch business opportunities in the near future.
3BL director also rubbished the claims made by William Gerald Mutumanje popularly Acie Lumumba in a video that she was using Minister Zhuwao’s name to milk money from cooperates.
The committee also accused 3BL for being in possession of government documents without a contract with the Ministry, non-payment of tax whilst at the same time not having been registered with the State Procurement Board.
By Nyasha N Mukapiko