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Maize 'cartel' boss summoned to Parliament

by Staff reporter
24 Feb 2020 at 08:39hrs | Views
Parliament has officially summoned Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairman Tafadzwa Musarara to appear before a portfolio committee after he snubbed several invitations.

The committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement which is chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu-PF) says it wants Musarara and his association to explain how they used US$27 million received from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the importation of wheat.

Musarara, recently accused by the Zanu-PF youth league of running a "cartel", has avoided appearing before the community and recently wrote to the Clerk of Parliament proposing that he appears before the Public Accounts committee instead.

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda has now thrown the book at Musarara after ordering him to appear before the committee on February 25 – or face arrest.

Chokuda, in a letter addressed to "all and each of the members of the police force", directed the Zimbabwe Republic Police to ensure Musarara appears before parliament, should he fail to do so voluntarily.

"You are hereby required and directed by Parliament of Zimbabwe on the sight hereto to summon Mr T. Musarara that he appears personally before the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement that is inquiring into support services by the government of Zimbabwe into grain and wheat millers and the financing of silo repairs," Chokuda said in the February 14 letter.
Avoiding Parliament … Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe boss Tafadzwa Musarara had engaged lawyers to fight grilling by MPs

Wadyajena has said the committee wants answers over how Musarara's association spent the US$27 million, as well as details of an US$8 million loan the grain millers allegedly extended to the Grain Marketing Board for repairing its silos.

In a statement last week, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe confirmed it had received US$27 million from the RBZ between 2017 and 2019 at a rate of 1:1 with the RTGS currency.

The association maintains that the money was paid to foreign wheat suppliers.

"The necessary acquittals proving that the wheat came into the country were done through our bankers. We publicly published the statistics showing the quantum of wheat delivered and the distribution of wheat in all major newspapers namely he THerald, The Chronicle, Daily News and NewsDay on March 20, 2019. The source documents are still lying for inspection by anyone," the millers said.

Milling companies and petroleum firms have come under attack for benefitting from an opaque RBZ system where they got favourable exchange rates as part of a government plan to keep maize meal, fuel and bread prices down.

Source - zimlive