By Audience Mutema
PARLIAMENT’S Lands Committee chair Justice Wadyajena Tuesday gave former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s wife and her Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) colleagues a good tongue-lashing for repeatedly ignoring invitations to parliament and poor presentation of oral evidence before his committee.
This is after Monica Chinamasa, who is TIMB chair, and her colleagues had been called to present oral evidence on the company’s operations and preparedness for the opening of 2019 Tobacco Marketing season.
The other members are TIMB CEO Andrew Matibiri, Fatima Munatswa and Meanwell Gudu.
Wadyajena accused the TIMB members of making a complaint against him to the clerk of parliament for allegedly keeping them waiting outside while he attended to the Boka Tobacco Floors and Zimbabwe Tobacco Association.
Chinamasa denied being responsible for the complaint which she linked to concerned “friends” who had seen them waiting for too long.
Monica Chinamasa and Andrew Matibira before Wadyajena’s committee
“We did not complain to anybody but people asked, friends asked ‘for how long have you been here’ and we told them that since 10 o’clock. Maybe they are the ones that reported to the clerk. We are very sorry,” she said.
Wadyajena went on to confront the board for twice turning away his committee’s invites.
He also told the board members they had no moral authority to make any complaints about being delayed after they have failed to come to parliament before.
If anything, said the Gokwe MP, it was the committee that had the right to complain.
Wadyajena berated the TIMB managers for prioritising company board meetings instead of coming to parliament.
When finally given the chance to make its presentation, the TIMB representatives presented for only three minutes, inviting another lashing by Wadyajena.
“You just can’t come here with nothing and tell us ‘we are done’ just like that. And you expect us to say you are representing the people. We are using tax payers’ funds and I don’t think that behaviour is acceptable in this New Dispensation. That kind of conduct.”
They were told to take the parliament business seriously.
Wadyajena was further incensed by a laugh by Matibiri when he was being dressed down.
Chinamasa later apologised on behalf of Matibiri and said people react differently when they hear shocking things.
Wadyajena sent them away, telling them to return when their “house is in order”.
“I suggest you go back and come back when you are prepared…we need saved documents on Tobacco levy, agreement with Boka and we need to know the tendering system and how you managed to pay the contractors,” he said.