Chinamasa To Appear Before Parliament Committee

HARARE,–Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa will on Monday appear before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to explain the circumstances leading to the annexation of Mutumwa Mawere’s SMM Holdings

Monday will be Chinamasa,s last chance to attend the hearing having twice skipped the meetings and failure to attend this time will land him in trouble with Parliament.

One is given three chances to show up at a hearing and Chinamasa has bunked meetings twice inside one month in December. Edward Chindori-Chininga confirmed Saturday that Chinamasa will attend the meeting.

“He knows that he is coming for a hearing on Monday and as far as we (portfolio committee) are concerned, he is coming,” Chindori-Chininga said. The committee wants Chinamasa to explain how the government used reconstruction laws to seize Mawere’s assets.

As the Minister of Justice, Chinamasa was instrumental in first specifying Mawere on forex externalisation claims and then pushed for reconstruction of SMM Holdings on the grounds that it was indebted to the state by owing parastatals and quasi government bodies money.

Chinamasa angered the committee last month when he did not show up for a meeting. It later emerged that he had approached Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo seeking permission to defer the hearing. Moyo told Chinamasa that he had to speak with Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma who oversees portfolio committees. Chinamasa later spoke to deputy clerk, Kennedy Chokuda. However, he did not make his request in writing.

“The minister neither submitted anything in writing to the committee nor submit anything in writing to the Clerk of Parliament and therefore there is nothing in record,” Chindori Chininga said last month.

Mawere has already appeared before the committee and after Chinamasa’s appearance, the committee will write a report recommending way forward on the case. Mawere lost his prized assets in 2005 after government said they were indebted to the state by virtue of owing parastatals money. -Radi VOP