FORMER chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, Daniel Shumba yesterday blasted Zanu PF legislators who disrupted a parliamentary meeting where British businessman Nicholas van Hoogstraten was supposed to give oral evidence on the Hwange Colliery Company (HCC) issue, saying they were probably covering up for a “powerful” person.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Shumba, president of the opposition United Democratic Alliance, told NewsDay that there was no reason for MPs to refuse to hear Van Hoogstraten’s testimony because they could have discussed other issues about Hwange other than the Reconstruction Act.
“It is quite clear that Zanu PF is covering up for a minister or a powerful person because there is too much corruption at Hwange Colliery which needs to be fixed,” Shumba said.
“There was no reason for MPs to refuse Van Hoogstraten to give evidence because what is before the courts is whether it was necessary to place Hwange Colliery Company under reconstruction, and so Van Hoogstraten could have talked about his rights as a shareholder without talking about the reconstruction order.
“Clearly, Zanu PF does not want Van Hoogstraten to be heard, but it is imperative that the HCC issue should be dealt with in Parliament and in court,” he said.
Shumba claimed that the people that are culpable in the HCC issue were Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, his Mines counterpart Winston Chitando and Attorney-General Prince Machaya.
“Whoever they (Zanu PF MPs) are protecting – it is very clear that they are playing a game for their master. We cannot allow Zimbabwe to collapse because it is not open for business and investors are at risk of having their businesses taken over by government just like what happened with the Shabanie-Mashaba Mines (SMM) issue,” he said.
Shumba said SMM was put under reconstruction and has never recovered, which means that there was need to have a relook at the Reconstruction Act.