Outspoken parliamentarian Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has accused the civil society of not doing enough to lobby for the fight against corruption in the country and yet shift the blame to members lof parliament.
Addressing delegates at an Indaba organized by Transparency International Zimbabwe, Misihairabwi -Mushonga said:
“Civic society and parliamentarians are the same but civic leaders want to blame us for not doing enough yet we are all supposed to hold the executive accountable, our job is to represent what you are lobbying on but very few civil societies are lobbying for anti-corruption laws”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the crafting of laws that fight corruption should not be left to parliamentarians alone but should be a collective effort.
She further reiterated that civil society has strength in mobilizing people for public hearings but was not capitalizing on that strength.
Instead of mobilizing people to participate in public hearings , civic groups use such platform to blast parliamentarians on petty issues, she said.
“Majority of people when we go for public hearings to discuss bills on corruption,you do not take the processes serious rather shout at us on petty issues. At the end of the day we go back to parliament without people’s views,” lamented the outspoken parliamentarian.
Currently, parliamentarians are incapacitated to fight corruption due to lack of funding thus limiting their work.
Civic groups receive funding from donor communities but cannot get into parliament.
“Parliamentarians are operating from their briefcases, cellphones and their cars. We don’t have offices or a secretary where we can operate from and this has made the oversight role difficult to deal with… this has actually made the issue of corruption difficult to deal with”.
She said the duty of fighting corruption was too risky and those that choose to speak do it at their own peril citing that some parliamentarians died in that quest.
Misihairabwi sensationally claimed that former mines and minerals portfolio chair Edward Chindori-Chininga died mysteriously in a car accident after exposing diamond looting by some government officials.