HomeLettersSale of parastatals should always be above board

Sale of parastatals should always be above board

IN response to “Parastatals to cede stake in Chinese firms” (Zimbabwe Independent, September 5), state enterprises and parastatals are public assets which should not be sold-off willy-nilly.

In the event their disposal is the only option available, parliament should oversee the process and ensure the sale ultimately benefits the nation, not a connected few.

At least parliament, rather than an individual ministry, can claim to represent the people and thereare checks and balances in its modus operandi.

The executive can play a supervisory role to parliament similar to the private sector set-up in Germany in which the operational board is subordinate to the supervisory board.

In our system, which lacks oversight, ministers tend to play the shareholder role with disastrous consequences. It is high time the relevant parliamentary committees assume the shareholder role in the quest for transparency and holding the executive to account.

Recent reports that money sourced for the repair of Grain Marketing Board silos from China could not be accounted for are worrying, as is the cancellation and restoration of the Kariba Power Generation tender recently.

Add to this melée the bungled Zisco-Essar deal as well as the Hwange power station-YTL deal into the fray and it becomes clear there is a serious governance problem which impacts negatively on the country’s economy.

Government ministers should only be allowed to sell state enterprises after being given the green light from parliament following due diligence and public hearings. We might need investment but the deals must be above board.

Painona,
Harare.

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