By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent
OUTSPOKEN Norton legislator Temba Mliswa Friday launched a scathing attack on parliamentarians, questioning whether they were not actively grooming corruption by remaining mum and failing to query tenders and questionable characters coming in as investors.
He was speaking at a workshop on progress made in the fight against corruption, facilitated by parliament and funded by the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) in Bulawayo.
Mliswa blasted legislators for failing to conduct their oversight role on all government and private dealings, warning them the world was watching as they took part in the plunder of Zimbabwe.
“Corruption fights but we are letting the people down, you are letting yourselves down. May your conscience be your master when you ask yourself what you have done to fight corruption,” said Mliswa.
“Is parliament not being corrupt? How come there are so many members who have been said to be corrupt yet you do not move motions to investigate them.
“Who are you serving? May we see more members raising motions on those members who have been fingered in corruption.
“Shame on you legislators, shame on you, the world is watching. Why do you want to be quiet, now people are saying parliament is corrupt.
“It is about time you played your role honestly, sincerely and transparently. Members of parliament, portfolio committees are being accused of being given bribes for not bringing certain reports.
“People are watching you. As long as you are a legislator and you are not talking about corruption, people will ask what you have done about corruption in the next election.
“Have you declared your assets, if not, how can you fight corruption?”
Mliswa bemoaned the the whipping system, which he claimed was hindering the fight as political parties had a habit of gagging members on certain issues or motions.
“The country needs to know what has been achieved, the rate of corruption has reached unprecedented levels but we still are whipped to a point that we expose his excellency,” added Mliswa.
“You must speak to the nation and answer certain questions. You are not bring him there to expose him, you are bring him there to be able to discharge his duties.
“At times portfolio committee chairpersons find it difficult to discharge their duties because they have to toe a certain line.
“Can you talk in your own capacity? We must see your position in terms of corruption, we expect you to set the tone.”
Mliswa who is APNAC Zimbabwe chairperson challenged Zanu PF legislators to call President Emmerson Mnangagwa to parliament to address issues around his administration.
I have been targeted because of my anti-corruption stances. pic.twitter.com/zQqxxSjU2Y
— Hon. Temba P. Mliswa (@TembaMliswa) June 17, 2022
He advised them, doing so will not translate to insubordination but a constitutional mandate he should provide.
“Ministers who are supposed to be his foot soldiers are not there,” he said.
“I implore you to move a motion that his excellency must appear before parliament and tell us challenges and the good of his tenure in office.
“You are doing a disservice if you are not inviting him because there are provisions which require the number one citizen to respond to certain issues. He should be asked why after appointing cabinet ministers they hardly come to parliament.
“Why are you not doing that? You are not protecting the President by not getting hi to play his role from a constitutional point of view therefore I am imploring members of the ruling party and their caucus. The ruling party must be able to move the motion and the opposition must be able to second it.”
Mnangagwa has only been before parliament delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA). He has never been called to respond to questions in the Senate or lower house.