Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has been removed from the Parliament Privileges Committee, to look into contempt of Parliament charges against Shabanie Mashaba Mines (SMM) administrator Afaras Gwaradzimba as he is deemed an “interested party”.
Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo this week announced Mnangagwa would be replaced by Zanu PF chief whip in the House of Assembly Joram Gumbo.
The removal of Mnangagwa from the committee follows a letter of complaint last December by Kyle Attorneys representing SMMH who wrote to Moyo objecting to the appointment of Mnangagwa as part of the Parliamentary Priviledges Committee to investigate Gwaradzimba.
In a letter dated December 5, the attorneys argued: “We wish to register our client’s concern and objection to the appointment of Mnangagwa as a member of the committee given his historical involvement in the SMM matter.
“It is clear from a letter dated June 2, 2009 addressed to Gwaradzimba from Patrick Chinamasa (Justice and Legal Affairs minister) that Mnangagwa has an interest and has been involved in the affairs of SMM, and, therefore, we submit that it is in the interests of transparency and objectivity that he should be removed from any investigations into the affairs of SMM.”
Other members of the priviledges committee to investigate Gwaradzimba include Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development deputy minister Jessie Majome, Parliamentary Legal Committee chairman Shepherd Mushonga, Gwanda Central MP Patrick Dube and Chivi Central MP Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana.
Gwaradzimba will be investigated by the Parliamentary Priviledges Committee for utterances he made in the media that were deemed to have demeaned the proceedings and character of the Mines and Energy Committee or character of Parliament.
“Examples of such utterances are that he said the MPs involved in the investigation of the matter are not honourable, that they work for Mutumwa Mawere . . .” said Moyo.