By Daniel Chigundu
OUTSPOKEN Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has told the National Assembly that Mines and Energy Committee chairperson Daniel Shumba is demanding money from companies so that they won’t appear before his portfolio committee.
Raising a point of order in the National Assembly, Honourable Mliswa said he has evidence to show that Honourable Shumba has extortionist tendencies and must be reigned on.
“…He (Shumba) certainly uses names all the time; name dropping is his tendency and knowing you Mr Speaker, you are a man of honour, so is the Clerk of Parliament. There are so many allegations of other companies who will come before us who have equally come to me.
“I will furnish you with their names; they came to me and said is this how you operate that your chairman asks for money from us, he has got extortionist tendencies which are destroying this Parliament. I say this with evidence of being called and bringing these companies before you.
“I cannot name these companies in here but I am prepared to give you the names of the companies so that they appear before you. So, as a Member of Parliament, it is important that we record this Mr Speaker. I hope and I am prepared to produce this in writing again so that I prove everything that I am saying,” he said.
According to Mliswa, in one particular situation, the committee had resolved that Sakunda chief executive officer Mr Tagwirei should appear before it, but he did not turn-up after receiving a letter from the chairperson advising him not to come.
In his response, the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said where there are some disagreements, the Committee Clerk should write to the Clerk of Parliament who then will address the issues raised.
Mudenda added that if the Clerk of Parliament fails to resolve the issue, he will then refer the matter to the office of the Speaker.
The Speaker also said “if any member of a Committee has got evidence on certain allegations and these allegations are supported with some evidence so that they are no longer allegations, this should be tendered to the Committee in black and white. I am wondering whether this was done Honourable Mliswa”
According to Mliswa, the clerk of the committee is also under siege from Honourable Shumba and is not cooperating with the committee.
“Our clerk of the committee, unfortunately, is under siege, even some of the minutes that she writes, the things that we say; she does not even put in the minutes. We spent an hour telling her why did you miss this, she is an innocent girl who I equally see is under siege.
“I think we need a seasoned clerk of the committee in our Committee to deal with what is happening. Even if you recommend her to write, she will not write anything,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parliament has since summoned the Mines and Energy Committee for an urgent meeting tomorrow (2 August 2017) at 10:00hrs to try and address the allegations and disagreements rocking the committee.
By Daniel Chigundu