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Chindori-Chininga was a fearless champion of democracy

THE death of Edward Chindori-Chininga, the Zanu PF MP for Guruve South constituency, is quite devastating and a huge blow to parliamentary democracy.

THE death of Edward Chindori-Chininga, the Zanu PF MP for Guruve South constituency, is quite devastating and a huge blow to parliamentary democracy.


I worked closely with the MP for the past four years and can testify to the huge positive difference he made to the work of Parliament.

Chindori-Chininga, who was 58, died on Wednesday night after his vehicle reportedly rammed into a tree at the Raffingora and Mvurwi roads T-junction towards Guruve, one of the eight districts in Mashonaland Central province.

The MP was last year involved in another car accident and escaped with several body injuries.

His horrific death is a blow to parliamentary democracy in that he is one of the very few MPs during the life of the Seventh Parliament who is widely believed to have performed in an outstanding manner.


A democratic parliament is one that is representative, transparent, accessible, accountable and effective in the execution of its constitutional core functions of law-making, executive oversight and representation. Chindori-Chininga was not found wanting in all these characteristics.

As chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, he was courageous enough to launch committee investigations into the highly controversial and sensitive diamond mining. This inquiry ruffled many feathers in the top political echelons.

As Mines, Environment and Tourism deputy minister from 1995 to 2000, Chindori-Chininga was highly knowledgeable and eloquent about mining issues, an attribute that put the committee in a stronger position to provide effective oversight on the sector.

Chindori-Chininga was also Mines and Mining Development minister from 2000-2004 before his unceremonious exit following a mini Cabinet reshuffle by President Robert Mugabe.

Before that, he had worked as a director (Southern Africa) with the now defunct Zimbabwe Tourist Development Corporation as well as tourist attaché at the Zimbabwe embassy in New York.

Listen to NewsDay’s Assistant Editor Wisdom Mdzungairi recount his experiences working with the late Guruve South MP below:

He is one of the few MPs in the history of the Parliament of Zimbabwe to have requested Parliament to investigate contempt of Parliament charges against ministers from his own Zanu PF political party. Two years ago Mines Minister Obert Mpofu had to go to Parliament to give oral evidence on diamond mining after the committee warned him that it was contemplating pressing contempt of Parliament charges.

Mpofu had repeatedly failed to appear before the committee despite invitations from the committee to do so. Contempt of Parliament carries with it a fine and/or six months’ imprisonment for the offender.

The four-year investigations by the committee culminated in a report tabled in Parliament last week that exposed serious malpractices, leakages of diamond revenue, abuse of mining laws, violation of corporate governance principles and corruption in diamond mining.

In August 2011, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa was only saved by the Speaker of the House of Assembly who ruled that he had not breached provisions of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act after he failed to present himself before the parliamentary committee proof of the government’s ownership of collapsed asbestos firm, Shabani and Mashava Mines.

Chinamasa had promised to do so under oath.

These two examples demonstrated a fearless and effective committee in carrying out its oversight mandate.

Chindori-Chininga was highly accessible and accountable. He made great use of social media platforms to communicate the work of his committee to the public and engage in debate on topical political issues. It is not surprising that his social platform, the Parliament Monitor, was now commanding a reasonable following.

His open interface with the public allowed him to be invited to different local and regional fora to speak on issues around mining policy and legislation. His voice was always common on radio and in the print media.

Just last week, the Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee embarked on countrywide well-attended public hearings on the impact of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority power cuts on the nation. The committee is due to report back to Parliament on its findings.

Several public hearings on other mining issues have been conducted by the committee during the life of the Seventh Parliament, thereby demonstrating an MP who was open and accountable to the public on his performance in office.

Chindori-Chininga will be sadly missed in Parliament and by many stakeholders with an interest in strengthening democratic institutions in Zimbabwe.