Parly rejects Ndudzo
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa was yesterday forced to suspend debate on the nomination of Industrial Development Corporation chief executive Mr Mike Ndudzo as new Auditor-General to allow him to further consult after legislators from across the political divide rejected the planned appointment.
Members of the National Assembly shot down the nomination of Mr Ndudzo to replace Mrs Mildred Chiri, arguing that all the firms that he had managed were either ailing or were insolvent.
Minister Chinamasa had in terms of Section 310 (1) of the Constitution sought Parliament approval for the appointment of Mr Ndudzo by the President following the expiry of Mrs Chiri’s tenure in February last year.
Legislators asked why Minister Chinamasa had failed to involve Parliament and in particular the Public Accounts Committee or to hold public interviews to select a new Auditor-General.
Zvishavane-Ngezi MP Cde John Holder (Zanu-PF) said despite Mr Ndudzo’s illustrious curriculum vitae, the firms that he had superintended over were almost bankrupt, thereby casting aspersion on his abilities.
“The CV is very colourful, but the companies he has been managing are in big trouble. Dorowa Mine has not been operating despite being recapitalised. Modzone Enterprise is bankrupt. Why were there no interviews held. I suspect foul play here,” said Cde Holder.
“There should be public interviews and the Public Accounts Committee for us to say so and so has been appointed. Someone might be misleading His Excellency, his academics are pretty good but he has a bad track record.”
Mashonaland West MP Cde Goodluck Kwaramba (Zanu-PF) said Mr Ndudzo had nothing concrete that he had done that would warrant his appointment as Auditor-General.
“There is nothing tangible he has to show. We do not want to destroy our country. We want you to reappoint Mrs Chiri, in my view she has been doing a great job,” said Cde Kwaramba. This prompted Minister Chinamasa to approach Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda.
Adv Mudenda then announced that Minister Chinamasa had an announcement to make regarding the debate at hand. “Listening to the sentiments from both sides of the political divide, I would want to carry further consultation,” said Minister Chinamasa.
Several legislators commended Minister Chinamasa for taking a bold step by accepting criticism and adjourned debate. Earlier on, there was a heated debate as MDC-T lawmakers led by their chief whip Mr Innocent Gonese, rose on a point of order to protest the manner in which Minister Chinamasa wanted to replace Mrs Chiri. Mr Gonese argued that there was need to involve Parliament and argued that there was need to follow proper procedure should Government want to remove Mrs Chiri.
Minister Chinamasa, however, said it was not true that Mrs Chiri had been fired, but had served two 6-year terms, but was still eligible for reappointment as the new Constitution was not operational when she served the first term.
Her term expired in February 2016 and had been allowed to serve for 18 months as Government sought her replacement. Minister Chinamasa said several meetings had been held with Mrs Chiri, whether she wanted to continue serving as she was still eligible for reappointment.
In their last meetings, said Minister Chinamasa, Mrs Chiri had agreed to continue serving, only to send him a text message the following day that she wanted to rest and give others a chance.
“I have asked Mrs Chiri to be head of the Internal Audit and I am happy to say that she agreed. Each Ministry is now going to have an audit department, which will be headed by a director or principal director from another ministry,” said Minister Chinamasa.
“There is no problem that the Government has with Mai Chiri with regard to the discharge of her duties.”