PARLIAMENT has played a critical role in unearthing corruption and white-collar crime by high profile public figures leading to some of them serving time in jail.
This was revealed by the Speaker of the National assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda during an interactive meeting with the media and Civic society organisations in Chinhoyi this Tuesday.
Responding to a question from a representative of a civic society organisation on the role parliament is playing in fighting corruption, Advocate Mudenda revealed that a number of high-profile cases were exposed by parliamentary committees leading to the arrest and conviction of public figures.
He singled out the NSSA report by the public service commission as well as the committee on energy whose reports revealed some corrupt activities at the Pension Fund and the energy ministry resulting in high-profile figures, including former ministers being arraigned before the courts.
“The problem with white collar crimes is that they tend to be intricate. But now some high profile public figures have been convicted. Some are serving sentence. Apart from the Auditor-General, we have some Parliamentary committees that came up with reports that reveal corruption like for example the NSSA reports the committee on public service came up with a report indicating there is something wrong in NSSA causing the conduct of a forensic audit which then came up with a report indicating the depth of corruption and the matter is in the courts now.
“The committee on energy for example also came up with recommendations that revealed some corruption in the ministry and the then minister is currently serving sentence in jail. The committee on local government revealed some corruption activities in the Midlands and the former minister of state was fingered, brought to court and is now serving sentence in jail,” he said.
A representative of the Southern African parliamentary support trust, Mr Israel Chilimanzi said the Zimbabwean parliament is open and accessible.
“There are numerous examples that show that our parliament is open and accessible. What the speaker is doing by conducting the speaker*s forum in our view is to demystify the institution. But not only demystifying it but also he is giving a practical application of the Constitution,” he said.
The Speaker of the National Assembly has been moving across the country interfacing with communities, articulating the role of parliament and how citizens should be involved in the law-making process.