Runesu Gwidi Masvingo Correspondent
Masvingo residents last week gave members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs a torrid time as they rejected discussions on the Insolvency Bill, which they said was irrelevant.
Legislators struggled to calm down placard-wielding representatives from various stakeholder organisations, who said the Bill was not a priority for Masvingo. The residents further alleged that the Bill was tailor-made to protect politicians, whose companies and institutions were financially struggling. The Bill, they said, would not benefit the ordinary people.
Marondera Central MP Cde Lawrence Katsiru (Zanu-PF) chaired the meeting at the Civic Centre Hall, where residents wanted to discuss the voter registration process instead.
“We know that the importance of the public deliberation on the Insolvency Bill is to come up with a workable Parliamentary Act aimed at bailing out individuals and companies that are wallowing in serious debts,” a participant told the parliamentarians.
“But the pertinent issue of the time is the transparency and accountability of the voter registration process. We highly suspect that the crafting of this Bill (Insolvency Bill) is a ploy by some politicians who want to protect their businesses that are in serious debts so that the debts are written off. Hence, the discussion of the Bill must be shelved for now.”
The meeting was attended by delegates from the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), the Disability Amalgamation Community Trust, several non-Government organisations (NGOs), traditional leaders, representatives from political parties and Masvingo residents. Participants also accused the legislators of failing to give feedback after concluding their hearings.
“Last year, this committee came to gather views on National Healing and Reconciliation, but did not even bring forth the feedback up to now,” said Mr Henry Chivhanga of the Disability Amalgamation Community Trust.
“Now, you are bringing in yet another agenda without deliberating on the feedback. It is our position as residents of Masvingo that once the Portfolio Committee goes to Parliament with our views, it must bring back results.”