THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Ndebele. What needs to be clarified is whether or not the Auditor-General has been removed or has left office under certain circumstances, because to jump to the conclusion that she has removed or fired, then try to apply Section 313 of the Constitution before we clearly understand from the Executive whether the Auditor-General has indeed been removed or resigned on her own accord or something else transpired between herself and the Executive – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
I think it is only proper that the Hon. Minister gives that background information to clear the air as to whether or not she has been removed. If indeed she has been removed then, Section 313 of the Constitution shall apply, but if she has not been removed and other circumstances have taken place, then there is no issue.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you very Mr. Speaker, I consider the statements that you mentioned to have been very defamatory. I think you are within your right to have asked me to say something on this matter.
I think Hon. Members should not be prone to making statements that have no basis in fact or in law. The point Mr. Speaker is, the Financial Gazette report is wrong, there is no basis for that report. I have not even bothered to read it, because it is so wrong. They say the Auditor-General was fired – it is wrong because she was not fired. The report in The Herald is equally wrong, they were here when I said I was going to move a motion today, so there is no way an Auditor-General could have been appointed yesterday for the newspaper to say, he is now the Auditor-General – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let me put the record straight – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
Allow me Mr. Speaker to put the record straight. Mrs. Chiri has been in the Auditor-General’s Department since joining in 1983. She was appointed to her current position in 2004. The 12 years of her term of office expired in February last year, and when it expired, I sought legal advice in the light of the new Constitution, whether or not she was eligible for another appointment. I was advised by my legal practitioners/lawyers that she was eligible. I sought her opinion to say, I was going to recommend to His Excellency the President that we give her another term. She said, no – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, she said no. I went back to His Excellency the President and said that I would need time to look for a replacement and she was asked to extend and continue. She has continued since February last year in that position. Clearly, of course, I must have slept on the job because I should not have waited that long – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
In February, I again called her to my office to say, may you reconsider, we want to extend your term? I had a two hour meeting with her asking her to reconsider. At the end of that meeting, Mr. Speaker Sir, she said she would agree to have another six year term only to text me. Unfortunately when I read these reports, I went through my cell phone to see whether or not I still have the text message. Fortunately for me, I still have that text message and she said, ‘Sorry, I want to reconsider what I told you yesterday. I do not want to continue.’ – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – For the benefit of the House I can read that statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – No, no, we want things – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir…
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