Speaker cornered over ‘corrupt’ ally



Lawmakers have quizzed Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda over why Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda is still reporting for duty while he is in the eye of a storm following allegations of an opaque deal that led to purchasing of computers for US$9000 each.

Chokuda was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for “Criminal Abuse of Duty as a Public Officer” and appeared before a Harare Magistrate.

It was Chokuda’s continued reporting for duty and advising the Speaker on issues that incensed Citizens Coalition for          Change (CCC) Members of Parliament who questioned the logic of a suspect advising Parliament on corruption-related issues.

Kuwadzana MP Chalton Hwende said it was defying logic that a suspect in a criminal case was still part of the Speaker’s procession.

“We have seen that the Clerk, Chokuda, someone who is facing corruption charges after the laptop issue is still part of your procession and is the one who is taking lead to advise you on an issue of such importance that involves corruption that has never been witnessed in this country,” Hwende quizzed.

“We want an explanation also on why Chokuda is still coming to Parliament because he is bringing this institution of Parliament into serious disrepute. You cannot face serious charges of wanting to buy a laptop for US$9 000 and still come to Parliament and advise our Speaker.”

The deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi however said Hwende was out of order as it was an issue before the courts.

But Hwende could have none of it and insisted on having Chokuda suspended.

“I think on that one you are a bit out of order. I am sure you know that he was taken by ZACC and ZACC is still doing some investigations. So, if it is before the courts, we cannot talk about it in this House. You know very well that we cannot talk about it in this House,” Gezi said.

Fumed Hwende: “This matter has passed the ZACC stage. Chokuda appeared in court and he was given bail. Why is he coming to work interacting with the same worker that he is supposed to be investigated for? He is interfering with investigations and today he is helping you to stop gold mafia investigation.”

“As Parliament, we have a right not to be given advice by someone who is facing serious corruption charges and these charges happened here in Parliament. The same workers that were procuring the laptops are still here. Why is he coming to work facing corruption charges?”

Norton MP Temba Mliswa said instead of focusing on Chokuda’s reporting for duty, the lawmakers must avail a report on Chokuda and the computers’ scandal.

“We tabled a report. You must be asking where the report is. The Chairman must table the report, we debate and there are recommendations. He sits in the Committee of Public Accounts. Why has the Chairman not tabled the report then we can debate it? It has recommendations. Let us follow procedure and not just be emotional.”


“The Public Accounts Committee must table the report so that it is debated and there are recommendations we came up with. You are seasoned politicians, do not behave like kindergarten politicians.”


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