Mr Temba Mliswa

Parliament’s Committee of Standing Rules and Orders is expected to meet today and constitute a Privileges Committee to investigate allegations against Norton legislator and three others that they demanded $400 000 bribe from a local businessman keen to mine at Hwange Colliery mine.

The SROC, chaired by Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda is also expected to appoint an interim chairperson for the portfolio committee on Mines and Energy which Mr Mliswa was chairing.

The setting up of a Privileges Committee followed a motion moved by Makoni South lawmaker Cde Misheck Mataranyika (Zanu-PF) who submitted that allegations against Mr Mliswa were of a serious nature requiring investigations by Parliament in order to safeguard the integrity of the august House.

Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda confirmed today’s meeting during an interview yesterday.

“Yes, we now have a date for the meeting of Committee of Standing Rules and Orders. We are convening our meeting tomorrow to deliberate on a number of issues,” said Mr Chokuda.

Mr Mliswa, who chairs the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development, was implicated with three other members — Cde Leonard Chikomba (Gokwe Kabuyuni, Zanu-PF), Mr Anele Ndebele (Magwegwe, MDC Alliance ) and Mr Prince Sibanda (Binga North, MDC Alliance).

In his ruling to a motion by Cde Mataranyika a fortnight ago, Adv Mudenda said Section 194 (1) (a) of the Constitution required that Members of Parliament demonstrate high standards of professional ethics.

It reads as follows: “Public administration in all tiers of Government including institutions and agencies of the State and Government-controlled entities and other public enterprises must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including the following principles, (a) a high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.”

Adv Mudenda said Parliament had to act.

Cde Mataranyika’s motion followed allegations by local businessman, Mr James Ross Goddard of JRG Contracting (Pvt) Ltd, that Mr Mliswa and his colleagues demanded $400 000 as “facilitation fee” to enable the latter’s company secure a mining contract at Hwange.

Mr Goddard alerted Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Vice President Kembo Mohadi.

The SROC is also expected to discuss hostilities among members of the portfolio committee on Mines and Mining Development which saw a meeting set for last week being aborted in acrimonious circumstances.

Tempers flared between Mr Mliswa and Chegutu West Member of Parliament, Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) who traded accusations in full view of journalists and Acting Minister of Mines and Mining Development Dr Joram Gumbo who had come to give evidence before the committee.chronicle