Justice Minister Shuns Parliamentary Committee

Chinamasa who initially objected to appearing before the Mines committee saying the SMM issue was subjudice did not excuse himself to the committee.

The committee last month heard from the owner, Zimbabwean born and South African based business man Mutumwa Mawere how Chinamasa played a role in taking over the company from Mawere.

Mawere accused Chinamasa of violating the laws of this country in appointing a judicial management to run his companies. He said Chinamasa and Arafat Gewaradzimba, the administrator of SMM have been looting funds from SMM and its subsidiaries over the years.

Mines and Ernegy portfolio committee chairperson Edward Chindori-Chininga said Chinamasa snubbed the hearing on Wednesday without excusing himself from the committee.

“We were supposed to meet with Honourable Chinamasa this morning…and the Minister did not come,” Chindori-Chininga said.

“The surrounding is that the Minister approached the Speaker who in turn asked him to approach the Clerk because the Speaker said he is not administrator for committee issues and therefore the Minister went to speak to the Deputy Clerk Mr Chokuda and advised him that he had just flown into the country and yesterday was his first day to appearance before the House and therefore he was not ready to appear before the committee and required more time and was suggesting that the meeting be rescheduled.”

“The minister did not submit anything in writing to the committee neither did he submit anything in writing to the Clerk of parliament. There is nothing in record in terms of writing. The committee came to meet this morning unaware of that request and were informed of the request this morning and we had to ask the Deputy clerk to explain to us what exactly transpired.”

Chindori Chininga said his committee has resolved that Chinamasa appears before the committee on January 10, 2011 without fail or action will be taken against him,

“The committee met and discussed the matter and resolved that a letter will be written to the Minister advising him that first we did not appreciate that there was no confirmation in writing that was submitted to the committee through the Clerk requesting the postponement of his busy schedule,” Chininga said.

“A letter is being written to the Minister to again request him to appear before the committee on the 10th of January. If he fails to appear after three requests then the committee will make the required recommendations and necessary measures to ensure the Minister does appear before the portfolio committee.”

“A lot of workers are not working. People are out of work. The mine is closed. Asbestos is being imported from outside when we have got asbestos locally,” Chindori said.

Mawere last month warned investors that as long as there is no rule of law in the country business will end up not owning their businesses if the Reconstruction law is ‘abused’ like in his experience where he lost his company control.