Mines Minister Instructs Diamond Companies To Snub Committee

Members of the Mines and Energy committee told RadioVoP that Mpofu’s ministry wrote an “opinion” in which it advised the Mbada Diamonds and Canadille directors not to attend the Monday hearing.

Committee chairman Edward Chindori Chininga told journalists that Canadille had attached the Mines Ministry “opinion” using it to justify their failure to appear before his committee.

“We were supposed to meet with Mbada and Canadille but none of them came. So far we have received a letter from Canadille, we have not yet received communication from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and from Mbada. But what we have been given by Canadille is an opinion that is coming from the ministry and that is that they are not coming. They attached the ministry’s opinion to the letter,” said Chindori Chininga.

He said Parliament will continue to engage them.

“Procedurally, we will then ask our secretariat to again write to them and again advise them and emphasise the consequences for failure to comply with Parliament. They have a right to be heard in camera if they so wish but not to avoid parliament. It’s of great concern. It is an expense to parliament. Each week we call for such meetings MPs travel from their areas and are housed in Harare. The meetings were scheduled for three days,” he said.

An MP who is a member of the committee said in confidence: “We are coming back tomorrow. If they don’t come we will give them final warning then issue them summons next Monday. The whole committee is in agreement.”

The two companies’ dealings at the Chiadzwa diamond fields have been mired in controversy and lack of transparency in the way they were constituted, awarded rights to mine diamond and how their board of directors were constituted.