The Mines and Mining Development ministry has invited the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to observe Zimbabwe’s certification Wednesday pertaining to the transparent sale of the Chiadzwa diamonds as well as to meet Kimberley Process monitor Abbey Chikane in Parliament on Thursday.
The chairman of the mines and energy committee Edward Chindori Chininga yesterday said the committee had received an invitation from the Mines and Mining Development ministry to observe the Kimberley Certification process.
Legislators seconded to the committee on mines and energy said it was a welcome move, which, however, took them by surprise as they had been barred from entering Chiadzwa on many occasions.
“The mines and energy committee has been invited by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to observe Zimbabwe’s certification process tomorrow (today) at the Harare International Airport,” said Chininga.
“(Tomorrow), we will be having a meeting with the Kimberley Process monitor Abbey Chikane which is a welcome development to the committee.”
Although the Mines and Mining Development ministry has allowed the committee to meet Chikane and to observe Zimbabwe’s certification, MPs slammed the ministry for failing to include them on visits to Chiadzwa.
Glen View North MP Fani Munengami and Chiredzi West MP Moses Mare said although they were not expecting the invitation as they had been barred from executing their watchdog function as a committee, the move to allow them to attend the certification process and to meet Chikane could be the first step towards engaging the Mines ministry.
“That will be our first interaction with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and our second meeting with Chikane. It is going to be advantageous to the country because we want transparency in the sale of diamonds,” said Mare.
Mare said the pressure to allow the mines committee to meet Chikane and observe the certification process might have come from the Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo, who in his luncheon speech at the Rainbow Towers after the official opening of the third session of the seventh parliament, said Parliament should be left to exercise its constitutional mandate by the executive.
“What Moyo said during his speech could have put them under pressure to work with us. Moyo told them that the committee on mines was not trying to invade the territory by asking to visit Chiadzwa, but was simply executing its constitutional mandate,” said Mare.
He said the Ministry of Mines needed to work hand in glove with the mines committee because no one can perform without being supervised.
Another member of the committee, Munengami said when the mines committee last met with Chikane, he pointed out that he supported the committee on its oversight functions but said he could not get involved in government issues.
“Chikane was also concerned that the committee of mines should play its oversight role concerning the Chiadzwa issue,” said Munengami.
He said when they meet Chikane tomorrow, the committee would re-emphasise the need for transparency in the sale of the diamonds.