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African MPs concerned ‘corrupt’ Wadyajena still chairs Parly committee

The Zimbabwean chapter of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) has expressed concern over the failure of the ruling Zanu-PF party and Parliament to remove Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena from the position of chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Water after he was slapped with money laundering charges involving US$5,8 million.

Wadyajena was arrested last month together with Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) managing director Pius Manamike, head of marketing, operations, ginning and logistics, Maxmore Njanji and Procurement Specialist Fortunate Molai, and Pierpont Moncroix Director Chiedza Danha by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on suspicion that they laundered more than US$5,8 million and “created empires or big spheres of influence” using their alleged loot.

The accused persons have since been granted bail. The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda last week wrote a letter to the courts demanding the release of Wadyajena’s passport arguing that the Zanu-PF MP needed to travel to Germany and Britain on parliamentary business.

Temba Mliswa
Temba Mliswa

Against this background, APNAC chairperson Temba Mliswa, who is an independent MP for Norton, raised concern why Parliament was reluctant to suspend Wadyajena pending finalization of his case.

“We were expecting that by now Parliament would have made a ruling on whether the Hon. MP should still retain his chairmanship in light of the serious allegations that he is currently facing,” Mliswa said.

“Be that as it may, we strongly believe that Zanu PF as the political party that seconded Hon. Wadyajena to the position of committee chairman would have by now asked him to relinquish the chairmanship of the aforesaid portfolio committee in line with the precedence that was set by Parliament at a time when I and three other MPs underwent an enquiry on allegations of corruption.

“It is our contention that like the proverbial rain that drenches all men equally Hon. Wadyajena should step down from his current position of Chairman of a Portfolio Committee Portfolio Committee on Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Water more so when the basis of the current allegations he is facing emanates from alleged corrupt activities from a parastatal that he carries oversight on.

“In terms of the Institution of Parliament’s internal rules, Standing Rules and Orders, specifically, National Assembly Standing Rules, Rule 51, Hon Wadyajena, is in breach and he has also fallen foul to the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members of Parliament,” Mliswa said.

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