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Chinamasa summoned to testify


Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa is expected to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on Wednesday to answer questions pertaining to the takeover of Shabanie and Mashaba Mines (SMM Holdings).

Committee chairman Edward Chindori-Chininga on Monday confirmed his committee would seek an explanation from the minister regarding the controversial takeover that has seen thousands lose their livelihood.

“We have sat down as a committee and decided that we should call Chinamasa to appear before the Mines and Energy committee on Wednesday this week,” said Chindori-Chininga.

“Chinamasa has not yet confirmed that he would attend the committee hearing but we are hoping that he will come to give oral evidence before the committee.”

Although Chindori-Chininga said Chinamasa had not yet confirmed he would attend the hearing, the Parliament Public Relations Office on Monday invited the media to attend the hearing.

Insiders in the Mines and Energy committee said Chinamasa appeared reluctant to appear before them because he had excused himself on numerous occasions.

NewsDay is reliably informed the committee had invited Chinamasa to appear before them on Monday.

However, the Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs, David Mangota, is said to have advised Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, that Chinamasa would not be available as he was away on business.

But, the committee, according to members said it looked as if Chinamasa was chickening out and was trying to push the hearing until next year.

They were startled by his lack of eagerness to meet the committee after he had previously accused them of sidelining him by not giving him a chance to defend himself.

It is alleged attempts to get Chinamasa to appear before the mines and energy committee on December 6, were also fruitless.

In November when SMM Holdings financier Mutumwa Mawere appeared before the same committee, Chinamasa, though belatedly, tried to block him from giving oral evidence under the guise the matter was before the courts and therefore sub judice.

Zvoma, however, would have none of it and said Parliamentary Committees had a right to gather evidence even when a matter was before the courts.

Zvoma said the sub judice rule only applied to debates in the Houses of Parliament, but did not affect parliamentary committee business.

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