HomeNewsMinisters shudder Parly grilling over CSOTs

Ministers shudder Parly grilling over CSOTs


MINES and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa will this Thursday appear before Parliament to speak on capitalisation of Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs).


His appearance before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena comes at a time when CSOTs were said to be under-financed with companies exploiting natural resources reneging from capitalising them as required by the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment regulations.

Ministers have of late been reluctant to appear before the committee to explain issues bedeviling CSOTs.

On February 19, the newly-appointed Minister for Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Chris Mushohwe failed to appear before the committee to clarify issues on the indigenisation legislation.

“We were told he (Mushohwe) had written a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda explaining his reasons, but we were not privy to the information,” Wadyajena said.

Former Minister for Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere last year refused to appear before the same committee to speak on CSOTs and indigenisation.

His refusal was supported by former Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma who said the minister was not obliged to attend since he was no longer in charge of that portfolio.

But legal expert Alex Magaisa on Friday said Kasukuwere’s non-appearance before the committee was in breach of section 107 (2) of the constitution which provided for accountability of Vice Presidents and Ministers.

“The section readsEvery VP, minister and deputy minister must attend Parliament and Parliamentary Committees in order to answer questions concerning matters for which he/she is collectively or individually responsible,”Magaisa said.

“They do not have an option of refusing to attend. This is why the Clerk of Parliament was wrong to excuse Kasukuwere when he was called by the committee to answer questions over CSOTs. The minister had no right to refuse to attend merely because he was no longer the relevant minister for that department. The requirement to attend is peremptory and should have been honoured. If he had nothing to say, then he should say so to the committee.”

A fortnight ago Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment deputy minister Mathias Tongofa disclosed before Senate that only 24% (15 out of 61) CSOTs were operating successfully.

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