Substantiate your claims, Mliswa told

HARARE - Parliament's portfolio committee on Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has challenged Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa to substantiate his claims that some members of the committee had been corrupted by Green Fuel founder Billy Rautenbach.

In a note outlining steps on how the august House was to tackle the contentious April 2014 issue and outburst by the former fitness trainer, committee chairman Justice Wadyajena said it was crucial to establish if Mliswa had not actually breached his privileges, and immunity protocol.

“Members of the committee take exception to the allegations as they feel they have the potential to create deep suspicion among the members, thus dividing the committee,” he said, adding the unrestrained attack had “the potential to undermine the integrity and image of the committee, and Parliament itself”.

“This may also compromise the ability of the committee to execute its mandate, and functions. Therefore, it is necessary for Hon Mliswa to substantiate his allegations by way of furnishing Parliament with evidence, which informed his alleged statements…,” Wadyajena said.

According to the Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator’s statement, Mliswa had been quoted in the press as saying: “Billy (Rautenbach) has also got into Parliament and already has corrupted some members of Parliament. You were there when that whole committee was held… there were members… who were paid to heckle the chairman (and) even asked the chairman to stand up and can’t you see that.”

Further: “There were noises because some MPs had been paid to say what they needed to say,” he said, adding there were some MPs in whose areas Rautenbach’s project covered who had approached him with a mediation carrot.

Controversial politician could be charged under chapter 2 section 08 of the Parliamentary Act and specifically laws barring members from “offering or receiving bribes to influence their conduct”, any such fees, compensation or form of gifts “in respect of promotion or opposition to any Bill, petition, resolution, motion or matter submitted for the consideration of Parliament”.

The committee took great umbrage to the “publishing of a defamatory statement reflecting on the proceedings or character of Parliament”.

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