Zitto Ready To Quit House Over CHC


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Zitto Kabwe who is the Public Organisation Accounts Committee Chairman

Zitto Kabwe who is the Public Organisation Accounts Committee Chairman has vowed to resign if it is proved that he or any committee member was bribed to campaign for extension of Consolidated Holding Corporation's tenure.

The North Kigoma lawmaker made the statement here yesterday when the House sat as a Committee to endorse the budget estimates for the ministry of finance in the financial year 2011/2012.

The legislator's statement came after the Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo clarified the query raised by a Special Seats MP Anastazia Wambura (CCM).

Wambura had wanted Minister Mkulo to clarify on the wide spread rumours that some MPs have been given money to defend CHC, saying it was an embarrassment to the Parliament.

Responding, Mkulo said: "I would like to admit that I have received complaints that there were rumours that some of us have been bribed so as to defend the CHC."

He said the government took the matter to Parliament so that the tenure of CHC could be extended, but the MPs want its term to be permanent.

"We have requested the Controller and Auditor General to investigate on the workers demands as well as the allegations that there were some MPs who were bribed to campaign for the Corporation to be given permanent status. The report will be brought to parliament upon its completion," he said.

However, after being granted a chance to ask a question Zitto demanded that Mkulo make a promise to the Parliament that he will take responsibility if it is proven that he had lied to the House.

"I have the terms of references of the investigation
from the CHC Board to CAG … The Minister for Good Governance should direct the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau to investigate as well."

He said the investigations should be transparent, calling on the finance minister to promise before the Parliament that if it is proven that what he said was false, he would resign immediately.

"On behalf of all POAC members, if it is proven that any one of us was bribed to campaign for the extension of tenure of CHC I will resign not only from the chairmanship, but also as a Member of Parliament," Zitto said.

Zitto called on the Finance Minister to ensure that the terms of reference sent to the CAG were amended so that he can investigate and provide the results transparently.

"I and Minister Mkulo should promise before the Parliament that we will be accountable following the investigation results," Zitto said.

Responding Mkulo said that as Finance Minister he has not seen the terms of reference written by CHC Board to CAG.

"I would like to inform the MP that these allegations are serious and that is why I said that they are being worked on. We have a system in the government on how to direct its organs to work on serious issues like this one," he said.

Mkulo said that investigations will follow government procedures and that, the Parliament will be informed upon its completion.

On the issue of resignation, Mkulo said: "We should first wait for the investigation to be conducted so that we can get the report and study it before talking about resignation," said Mkulo.

On June 23 this year when discussing the Miscellanous Laws Amendment Bill for 2011 Zitto criticised the government statement tabled by Minister Mkulo claiming that the cabinet was bribed to finish the CHC.

He rejected the clause calling for the transfer of CHC responsibilities to the Treasury Registrar, saying the Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Economy had said the move was intended to kill the Public Organisations in the country.

After making the allegations, the Ministers of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs) William Lukuvi and Regional Administration and Local Governments, George Mkuchika, asked Zitto to prove his statement because they were not bribed by anybody.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Anne Makinda directed Zitto to provide evidence against the allegations.

By Sharon Sauwa, The Guardian

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