By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Legislators have warned Finance minister Mthuli Ncube against not taking Parliament business seriously after he failed to turn up to explain why his ministry had stalled in disbursing US$5 million to the Zimbabwean embassy in the United States for renovations.
On Wednesday, Kindness Paradza, chairperson of the portfolio committee told Finance ministry principal director, Pfungwa Kunaka to inform Ncube that he had been issued with a final warning and would in future be charged with contempt if he did not take parliamentary business seriously.
MPs could not accept the absence of Ncube who was represented by Kunaka.
“Go and tell your minister that he must take Parliament business seriously. Next time we will charge him,” the Zanu PF MP for Makonde, Paradza said.
Paradza also told Kunaka to inform Ncube to furnish the foreign affairs portfolio committee with detailed answers on why the finance ministry was failing to disburse US$5 million to the Zimbabwe Embassy in New York for repairs after it was extensively damaged in a fire.
“Go and inform your minister that he promised to disburse US$5 million to New York. To date, that money is still outstanding. We need that in writing,” Paradza said.
This is not the first time Ncube is accused of not being serious.
Recently, Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mangudya, were cornered in a closed-door politburo meeting by top Zanu PF officials and accused of working against the ruling party amid their failure revive the economy.
Economists say Zimbabwe’s annual inflation soared more than 1000% in June and the figures have been stoking fears of a return of the kind of hyperinflation that wiped out savings 11 years ago.
When President Emmerson Mnangagwa, grabbed power from late former president Robert Mugabe via a military coup in November 2017, he and Minister Mthuli promised to revive the economy.
Nearly two years later, the economy is retrogressing with many goods including fuel, medicines and the staple maize meal are in short supply while many Zimbabweans are now saying Mnangagwa’s regime is worse than Mugabe’s. Nehanda Radio