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Parliament has no power to enforce discipline

By Daniel Chigundu

Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda says Parliament of Zimbabwe has no power to enforce discipline on corrupt Ministers and government officials whom it would have exposed through its oversight function.

Honourable Sibanda’s revelation comes on the back of numerous complaints from members of the public who have been accusing Parliament of letting go those officials who would have been exposed in various committee meetings over the years.

Parliament through its committee meetings has exposed a lot of corruption in such government ministries as Finance and Economic Development, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Mines and Mining Development and Transport and Infrastructure Development.

Parastatals such as Zinara, ZBC, Hwange Colliery, Arda, CSC, Zesa, NSSA, NetOne and ZMDC among others have all been condemned by Parliament for being corrupt but not much action has been taken to bring those in charge to book a development which forced people to label Parliament as a toothless bulldog.

Speaking recently at Media and Peace Workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Honourable Sibanda said their role as Parliament is to only expose and report to the executive for action.

“Do we have mechanisms to ensure what we expose is implemented, not so much, because there should be separation of powers Parliament stands on its own to do its duty of exposing, once we do that in terms of the law, the only thing we can do is to write to the executive to say your minister is stealing can you take corrective action.

“This is because Parliament is a stand-alone House, it stands on its own no one can go to discipline kids next door, so it becomes the duty of the executive to make sure that they take corrective action.

“Parliament cannot instruct the police for example to arrest someone, that will be overreaching in terms of our duties as Parliament so the implementation matrix is the duty of the executive ours is to expose and when we have exposed we leave it there,” he said

Zimbabwe has lost billions reportedly from corruption in government institutions in some cases working in cohorts with the private sector or through sloppy deals mainly with the Chinese companies.

Recently Ministry of Agriculture failed to account for more than $3 billion which it received from treasury under Command Agriculture program.

As if that is not enough Ministry of Finance is at the centre of controversy following revelations by its top officials that they had paid US$400 million to a funeral parlour which it contracted to supply fertiliser and seed under the government agriculture program.


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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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