SAKUNDA Holdings director Kudakwashe Tagwirei yesterday chickened out and failed to appear before the Temba Mliswa-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to face grilling over shady deals concerning the Dema power project, which is said to have gobbled millions of litres of fuel, yet the project was abandoned last year.
Committee members wanted Tagwirei and his team to answer questions on how Sakunda clinched the Dema contract, how they used the duty-free fuel imports and several other questions pertaining to the deal.
Acting chairperson of the Mines Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Simbaneuta Mudarikwa told journalists that Parliament would now write a second letter to Tagwireyi to ensure he appears before the committee.
“The people from Sakunda failed to appear before the committee as per our invitation, and, therefore, we are now going to write another letter to them so that they appear before the committee to answer questions on the Seke Picking Plant (Dema),” Mudarikwa said.
Parliament rules state that a witness is given three chances to appear before Parliament. The letter to be written by the committee will be the second one to Sakunda Holdings, and if they fail to appear before the committee resulting in a third letter being written, Parliament will then have to issue them with summons.
When Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive officer Gloria Magombo appeared before the Mines Portfolio Committee recently, she told MPs that the Dema power project which was awarded to Sakunda and Aggreko gobbled between 10, 8 million and 12 million litres of diesel per month, adding that the project was abandoned a year ago.
MPs still want clarity on why a statutory instrument was issued in November for duty-free fuel to Dema when the project was actually abandoned a year ago. The legislators also feel that Zimbabwe Power Company failed to do due diligence on the Dema project before it was implemented, and they suspect that the duty free fuel might have leaked to the black market.