By Staff Reporter
AN opposition legislator has questioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s decision to appoint ex-banker Mthuli Ncube as a cabinet minister when the latter was a tainted banker whose now defunct banking institution collapsed with depositors’ hard gotten funds.
Speaking during the upper house’s ministers’ question time this past Thursday, MDC Senator for Mashonaland West Voice Chinake asked the leader of government business in parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi if it was national policy for the president to elevate to ministerial positions, individuals with a foggy history.
“What plans do we have to ensure that when the President of Zimbabwe is choosing Ministers, he does not choose persons with previous convictions like those who had their banks liquidated and people lost their savings?
“What is Government policy on choosing Ministers?” Chinake said without mentioning any names.
In his response, Ziyambi drifted back into the historical narrative of how the national constitution was created adding that it did not bar the national leader from choosing who to second to cabinet.
“When this Constitution was drafted, all the Zimbabweans participated and people voted for the Referendum on which a 90% yes was attained,” Ziyambi said.
“The President was given powers to choose his ministers. It is not written that people with previous convictions or those who stole chicken in their rural areas will not be chosen to be ministers.
“This Constitution also outlines the expected qualifications that qualifies one to be a minister and that is what the President adheres to when choosing ministers.
“So, I would urge the Hon. Senator to go and read the Constitution of Zimbabwe, he will be guided accordingly that our President follows what is in the Constitution.”
While Chinake did not mention any names, it was quite apparent he was referring to Ncube who was in 2005 forced to flee the country after then Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono shut down his bank for violating the country’s banking systems.
Ncube’s Barbican Bank was forced to shut down while its subsidiary Barbican Asset Management was liquidated after the group was found to be no longer in sound financial position due to undercapitalisation, poor corporate governance and violation of the Exchange Control regulations.
Ncube resurfaced 2018 to become the country’s Treasury boss.
Similarly, under-fire Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu’s Allied Bank was in 2015 forced to shut down following viability challenges.
Mpofu, once Mines Minister, has been accused of being one of the most corrupt individuals to have occupied cabinet positions before.