Robert Mugabe's rogue Justice Minister snubs parliament

HARARE – Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Wednesday snubbed Parliament's mines and energy portfolio committee for the second time this year where he was due to explain his role in the placement of Shabanie Mashaba Mines Holdings (SMM) under judicial management.\r\n

Portfolio Chairman, Edward Chindori-Chininga said despite the committee having communicated with the Chinamasa over his appearance, the committee had only been made aware that the minister would not appear when it had already gathered.

"The committee met and discussed the matter and resolved that a letter will be written to the minister advising him that we did not appreciate the fact that there was no confirmation in writing that he would not make it.

He said the committee had now set the 10th of January next year as his final date of appearance and failure to do so would result in unspecified action being taken.

"A letter is being written to the minister to again request him to appear before the committee in January," he said.

"If he fails to appear after three requests, then the committee will take the necessary measures to ensure the minister is forced to appear before the portfolio committee."

Chindori-Chininga said it was regrettable that despite his committee’s efforts to allow him to explain his side of the story he had not turned up.

“It’s regrettable this kind of scenario is taking place. All we want is to hear is his side of the story. We want to find out if what he did was in accordance with the law and why the company has failed dismally after being placed under the control of a judicial manager,” he said.

“People are out of work and asbestos is being imported yet we have mines that can produce the product.”

Owned by Mutumwa Mawere, SMM was placed under administration in 2004 through a statutory instrument for the Reconstruction of State-Indebted and Insolvent Companies.

The company then owed various state firms a combined 800 billion Zimbabwe dollars. Accountant Arafas Gwaradzimba was appointed administrator of SMM and all companies related to it.