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ZANU-PF and MDC-T unite to force Chinamasa to reconsider appointment of Ndudzo as auditor-general

HON. GONESE:  I am starting with the functions of the Auditor General because I think that will help me to explain the point of order which I am raising.  First and foremost, Section 309 lays out in a comprehensive manner the functions of the Auditor General.  I believe that this is a very important office in our country.  Then I will go to Section 310 which is the relevant question with the issue of the appointment.  The Section is also very clear that the President is the one who makes the appointment but it is subject to the approval of Parliament which is what the Hon. Minister is seeking.  However, in terms of the office of the Auditor General, I will refer you Mr. Speaker and Members of this august House to Section 313. If you look at Section 313, it is very clear that this office of the Auditor General is a very critical office and in terms of the removal, it is governed by provisions which are similar to the ones applying to the removal of Judges and members of Commissions. In particular, I want to draw the attention of the Hon. Minister as well as Members of this august House to subsection (2) whereby, if for any reason the Minister of Finance and Economic Development feels that the question of the removal of the Auditor General has to be considered, the Committee of Public Accounts…

 HON. CHINAMASA: On a point of order, I think I also need to raise a point of order. There is no issue here of a removal…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Just a minute! Can we be procedural? I think we need to be procedural. Hon. Minister, why do you not allow him to state his case and you respond accordingly to clarify?

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much for your protection. The point which I am really making is that there is the involvement of the Public Accounts. The Public Accounts Committee is the one which has got a relationship and it is really our representative as Parliament. That particular Committee has to be consulted. Unfortunately, our Constitution in terms of the requirements for the approval of Parliament to be granted has got a lacuna. There is a gap and it was not clearly outlined.

I want to draw the attention of this august House to the provisions of Section 339 because I think they have got some relevance. What happens in terms of our Constitution and the reason why I am raising these points is that I believe that we must make a purposive interpretation of the Constitution where there are gaps, where there maybe some issues which may not have been captured but what is critical is what was the spirit.

In terms of Section 339, it is very clear that there are two processes where there is advice which is being sought or where there is consultation. I will explain why I believe that the procedure in terms of which this motion has been brought is not in accordance with the spirit that was envisaged in the Constitution. In terms of that section which I have just referred to, it actually requires where for example an appointment has to be made on the advice of another authority. For that other authority to be written to in writing and I will read the provisions in details. They say that “the person who is seeking the advice must inform the other person, in writing, what he or she proposes to do and provide the other person with enough information to enable the other person to understand the nature and effect of the proposed act and afford the other person a reasonable opportunity to tender advice and the person or authority is obliged to follow the advice tendered by the other person.” That is where advice is required.

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