Salarygate: Parliament's failing oversight

HARARE - Security chiefs have queried why legislators were slow in detecting widespread corruption that has been exposed in State enterprises by the media.

Senior officials from air force, police, army, prisons and central intelligence organisation drawn from the National Defence College yesterday toured Parliament on a familiarisation exercise, and took the opportunity to question parliamentarians on the suppurating scandal.

The team was led by brigadier-general Thando Madzvamuse.

Shadreck Mubaiwa, a police senior assistant commissioner, demanded answers on the salarygate scandal. “We are reading several reports of malpractices by chief executive officers in parastatals as bosses are earning high salaries.

“What role does the government ministers, who are legislators, play in these matters?” asked Mubaiwa.
“Are they not accountable to parliamentary portfolio committees?

“Why were legislators failing to carry out their oversight role? Who was also appointing these board members who are corrupt?”

Jacob Mudenda, speaker of the National Assembly, admitted legislators took their eyes off the ball.
“We were sleeping on duty as MPs while corruption was happening in the parastatals,” Mudenda admitted.

“We should have acted swiftly when the parastatals presented their annual reports to parliament and we should have picked it up. Our portfolio committees should have summoned heads of parastatals to their committees, and questioned them.”

He said Parliament failed to detect corruption in the parastatals early, because their annual reports did not contain salary schedules of their heads.

Mudenda said the country’s laws must prescribe that salaries of government ministers, senior civil servants, heads of parastatals and permanent secretaries be published.

“I was involved in the drafting of the new constitution and we had captured the setting up of a remuneration commission, like what happens in South Africa, where senior civil servants’ salaries are made public,” Mudenda said.

“However, when the draft was taken to the management committee, that chapter was dropped. So we  went to the referendum without that chapter.”

He blamed ministers for appointing their cronies to parastatal boards.

“The vacancy in the board members in parastatals are never made public, so we have ministers appointing people known to them with some being their school mates,” Mudenda said.

“This has contributed to all the corruption in the parastatals. However, as parliament, we are no longer going to remain inactive as we have woken up and are going to play our oversight role effectively, to end corruption.”

Comments (5)

Interesting... As Mudenda rightfully pointed out, parliamentarians were sleeping on the wheel... Why was this clause of making salaries public in the draft constitution dropped? The management committees had sinister motives I guess, they "officialised" theft by so-doing.

Jomo - 21 February 2014

Too late for tears Malume Jacob, this thing should have stated long back @ the Willowgate, War veterans Compansetion; Pay For Your Own Home scheme for the civil Servants who earn less than other Farm laborers, who exonerated Fredrick Shava then, what happened to the looted War Veterans funds, the Gukurahundi survivors who were promised compensation in July 1999, what became of it . The list is endless. I wish I was Cuthbert's daughter.

Mavis - 21 February 2014

FOR SALE HP TONER CARTRIDGES 05A , 11A, 12A, 13A, 15A, 24A, 35A, 36A, 53A, 55A 64A 78A , 85A, AND MANYMORE 0772 678 311

CARTRIDGE GALLARY - 22 February 2014

From the look of things, the ministers were involved in an indirect way! Why was such an important chapter dropped from the new constitution? They knew it was going to capture them. From the presidential report, mr c.dube does not feel guilty. He says its his money according to the book. Zimbabwe has praying people, we have capture his sentiments, we have no alternative other than bring such a case to God, for intervention! He is the only One Who can give man a Guilty conscience. I say to my GOD in heaven above, give all leaders without a guilty conscience what they deserve in Jesus name, amen.

think - 22 February 2014

Masecurity chiefs or thieves ngarege kunyepa. They are part and parcel of corruption. Why pretend as if they they know nothing about all this rot. Ko what are you doing kuma diamonds. Your corruption is well documented on farms, during elections in collaboration with Zanu pf hoodlums. So pliz stop the act.

Rook - 23 February 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.