The merry-go-round between former President Robert Mugabe and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy continues to go on, but a time has come for it to come to an end, as it is unhelpful.
Parliament last week said it had summoned Mugabe to appear before it and he did not attend.
The committee’s chairperson, Temba Mliswa, instead of issuing helpful statements, appeared to be disdainful of Mugabe and issued a statement that borders on ageism, saying the former President was too old to appear at 9am.
Parliament then summoned Mugabe to appear yesterday and again he failed to pitch up and now he has been given a June 11 date.
There is no need for antagonism between the committee and Mugabe, as Parliament wants to investigate what happened to diamond revenue.
In 2016, Mugabe alleged that $15 billion diamond revenue could not be accounted for and as the President at that time it is in the country’s best interests that he addresses the issue once and for all.
There is need for closure on this matter and Mugabe and the parliamentary committee needs to find common ground, as this is an issue of significant national interest.
Thus, this back and forth is unhelpful and is a waste of time.
There is no need for posturing by both sides and what should instead happen is that an agreement should be reached on when Mugabe will appear before Parliament.
With election dates soon to be proclaimed, Parliament will soon be dissolved and with that, Mugabe’s appearance before the committee will fall away.
Instead of seeming to be antagonistic and aggressive, we are certain that the two parties can reach an agreement and the nation will get responses to the questions it needs answered.
Mugabe must appear before the committee, but they have to be tactful about it, as he could provide evidence that they need to nail those who illegally benefitted from illicit trade in diamonds, thus, there is no need for antipathy.
While the drama surrounding Mugabe’s appearance rages, there is also need for the committee to tell the nation the sanction they will recommend for others who have appeared before it and failed to give satisfactory responses.
Failure to do that will only serve the cynics and sceptics, who are convinced that parliamentary portfolio committees are nothing but talk shows, with Parliament itself a paper tiger.
Those that have been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar must be made to account for their actions, but so far the nation has heard little in that regard from Parliament.