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Justice Wadyajena divides parliament?





The 33 member Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and rural resettlement is alleged to be divided on tribal, political and personal interest lines as it emerged that Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Wadyajena is using the Committee to further personal interest and has formed an alliance with those eating from the same plate as him.

An Honorable MP revealed the three were several issues that had been raised by other Committee members which have not been addressed by the speaker nor the clerk of Parliament.

The MP gave a detailed expose of the issues and allegations which were detailed as follows :

1. $69 million USD fertiliser scandal - According to the committee member FERTILISER, Seed Grain (FSG) managing director, Steve Morland was questioned by Parliament over how his company got the contract to supply fertiliser to the presidential input scheme, with legislators suspecting that the company had been handpicked without going through the required tender procedures.

Morland appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture chaired by Justice Mayor Wadyajena, where MPs claimed FSG fertilisers were being sold at retail price rates instead of producer rates, after FSG had received forex from RBZ at a special rate.

Wadyajena asked FSG to explain how it was chosen to supply the presidential input scheme with fertilisers and agro-chemicals, a contract worth $69 775 000 USD.

It is alleged that after the FSG scandal had been raised Justice Wadyajena imported a Lamborghini Urus valued at half a million USD, Justice Wadyajena refused to comment on the source of funds used to purchase that vehicle and also refused to disclose how much he duty he had paid for it.

The purchase of this vehicle raised eyebrows amongst MPs and committee members as the FSG matter was swept under the carpet and never made headlines thereafter. The Honorable MP stated that some MPs were paid and given instructions on which questions to ask and how to ask them, the MP said this raises an opportunity for extortionists to cash in on the pressure mounted by the Portfolio Committee. The MP revealed that the Committee Chair had his inner circle who were living large and could not account for the source of their wealth.

2. Land audit report - The Honorable member stated that the Portfolio Committee could not discuss the Uchena Land audit report as the Committee Chair was implicated in rural resettlement and dirty land deals. The MP revealed that by right the Uchena Land commission report should have been tabled before the Committee soon after it was presented to the President, but the Committee Chair would not entertain the report as he was implicated. The MP said they had approached the clerk of Parliament over the issue but no action had been taken as the Clerk of Parliament has a personal and tribal relationship with Justice Wadyajena. The Speaker of Parliament has also been very lenient and relaxed when it comes to Justice Wadyajena.

3. COMMAND Agriculture - The member of Parliament revealed that the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture could not exercise its oversight role on Command Agriculture because Justice Wadyajena was involved and conflicted in matters relating to Command. Some MPs resorted to handing intelligence on Command to the Tendai Biti public accounts Committee. Wadyajena has had business transactions with the funders of Command Agriculture and has also had legal issues with them therefore he cannot preside meaningfully and fairly over Agriculture related issues.

4. Grain Millers Association - The MP revealed that the Committee was not pleased with the Chairman's modus operandi and decorum regarding the GMAZ issue. The MP revealed that the initial issue was the GMB silos inquisition which fell under the oversight jurisdiction of the Committee, however members were surprised when the issue took a sharp turn towards forex allocations from Reserve Bank which were not under the Ministry of Agriculture's budgetary allocation, this legally implied that it was a public accounts issue and not an agriculture issue. However, the Committee under the direction of the chairman still pursued the matter and has now degenerated into micromanaging an association requesting its constitution and trying to interfere in membership related issues which do not fall under Parliament's oversight role.

The MP revealed that members felt abused and they complained that the committee's time could be put to better use. Committee members queried the inclusion of Davies Muhambi on GMAZ issues as he was chairman of a rival association and an expelled member of GMAZ who was already prejudiced against the association and therefore could not be a reliable nor credible witness. However, the chairman delayed the committee for an entire hour waiting for Davies Muhambi to arrive, MPs suspect that Davis Muhambi was a coached witness.

MPs indicated that GMAZ Millers had accounted for the 27 million and the grain initially raised on the agenda, yet the Committee Chair still wanted to keep digging for GMAZ dirt even when there were no indications or evidence of such dirt.

5. Temba Mliswa's letter to the Speaker - Honorable Temba Mliswa, wrote a letter to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda highlighting some of the issues that had been raised by members of the Portfolio Committee. However the Speaker ignored the matter and could not order that Wadyajena recuse himself from the Portfolio Committee. This left the Committee further divided as members felt that the Speaker had misdirected himself into ignoring the important issues raised by Honorable Mliswa. These issues are still at the core of the committee's functionality and ability to exercise oversight without prejudice.

6. Name dropping - MPs allege that Wadyajena has stated several times to ZANU PF MPs that he acts under the instruction of the President. He told MPs that he had been instructed by the President not to pursue the FSG issue any further. Some MPs questioned the intention and motive behind name dropping though there was nothing they could do to prove whether or not the President ED Mnangagwa had personally instructed Wadyajena to carry out some of the things that happen in the Agriculture portfolio committee. Members felt the name and office  of the President was abused and brought into disrepute by this name dropping tendency on issues of parliamentary oversight.

7. Tribal issues - the member of Parliament revealed that the Committee had also been divided into tribal lines as a clique of MPs from Mash East and Central had declared that they would not entertain the abuse of the Portfolio Committee for personal gain. This had left the clerk of the committee in a compromised situation as the clerk had to manage politics and interests within the committee.

Conclusion

Members of Parliament who spoke to the researcher indicated that a lot of "extortionary" behaviour was happening in some committees with Agriculture leading the pack. The MPs urged ZACC, Zimra and the Speaker of Parliament to institute a lifestyle audit on MPs and in particular committee chairpersons. The MPs also urged that Jacob Mudenda as an advocate needs to show appreciation and understanding of the law and respond swiftly to allegations against Wadyajena. The best that the Speaker can do is to order that Wadyajena recuse himself from the committee. A senior MDC MP in response said there is nothing good that can ever come out of ZANU PF, and people should not expect any action against Wadyajena from Mudenda because Mudenda was probably a beneficiary.

The issues have been raised loud and clear, the ZANU PF chief whip has ignored the issues, the speaker of Parliament has ignored the issues and it is now up to the leader of the house and ZANU PF leadership to take serious action on the  allegations levelled against Honorable Wadyajena.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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