CHAIRPERSON of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines, Temba Mliswa has accused some Zanu PF MPs in his committee of trying to throw spanners and scuttle efforts to investigate alleged underhand dealing at Hwange Colliery.
Mliswa claimed that the Zanu PF legislators last week took sides with Mines minister Winston Chitando who has been implicated in the matter.
When the committee visited Hwange last week, there were fierce verbal fights between Mliswa and three Zanu PF MPs Tafanana Zhou (Mberengwa West), Prosper Machando (Chirumanzu-Zibagwe) and John Paradza (Gutu West) who tried to scuttle the committee’s efforts to meet the affected Hwange Colliery workers, as well as further investigations on the issue.
But, Mliswa was adamant that the investigation — though it has implicated some government officials and ministers (including former Mines minister Freddie Moyo) — must continue because it has nothing to do with Zanu PF as a party, but is an anti-corruption fight which seeks to rescuscitate the comatose coal miner which is strategic for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.
Hwange Colliery workers in their evidence before the committee said the people that were looting the coal mine were from the Midlands province, where coincidentally two of the three MPs come from.
“I am not happy that there are some MPs that are trying to scuttle the investigations by the committee on Hwange Colliery and yet this investigation is pivotal for the success of the company,” Mliswa said.
“It is very disappointing that they are even taking the side of the implicated minister in the issue, and it is so bad that right now I am even pondering resigning from the committee or as MP because I, and other MPs are serious about trying to get this country to work again when some people are busy defending the corrupt,” he said.
Mliswa said he would take up the issue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda so that the MPs are dealt with as they were allegedly digressing from their watchdog role to serve party interests.
“MPs must not take the side of ministers or to promote party interests during sittings of Parliament. Mnangagwa is clear that he is taking a zero tolerance stance on corruption, and as MPs we need to ensure we save the country from economic problems and collapse,” Mliswa said.
Parliament’s investigation into the Hwange saga has proved that politicians were involved in looting the company’s resources including awarding themselves lucrative coal transportation businesses.