Parly summons Nhema

HARARE - Parliament has re-invited Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema to clarify the confusion surrounding the controversial $50 million Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust (MZCSOT).

Former Indigenisation minister Savior Kasukuwere is alleged to have lied to President Robert Mugabe that five mining firms doing business in the Chiadzwa diamond fields in Manicaland had each pledged $10 million to MZCSOT to empower the communities.

But in March, Mbada, Anjin, Diamond Mining Corporation, Jinan and Marange Resources, denied penning agreements obligating them to pay a combined $50 million to the ZMCSOT, and that the vaunted deals were nothing more than “gentlemen’s agreements”.

Despite Kasukuwere producing letters which were written to and by the mining companies, his Indigenisation successor Nhema drilled holes into his story when he appeared before parliamentary portfolio committee on Indigenisation last month and told them: “I have even asked officials whether the letters are there.

The problem is that there is no reference, no date stamp to authenticate the letters. I have checked with many files, I don’t know if they are there.”

These contradictions, and the fact that Mugabe presented a dummy $50 million cheque to the trust, prompted Parliament to summon Kasukuwere.

But the attempts by the committee, chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena, to get Kasukuwere to explain the confusion were blocked by the clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma, who argued that the august house could not interrogate a former minister on issues that were no-longer under his ambit.

It is under these circumstances that the committee has re-invited Nhema to give evidence tomorrow.

“Further to your appearance before this committee and the responses you furnished the committee with, the committee is re-inviting you to a meeting on the 27th of June 2014 at 1000hrs in the Senate Chamber, Ground Floor, Parliament Building,” reads the invite.

Parliament wants Nhema to clarify the pledges made by the mining companies as well as to avail any documentation and agreements regarding the pledges.

It also wants the minister to “bring all correspondences to the mining companies regarding community share ownership trusts.”

Comments (3)

Uku ndiko kutambisa nguva.Austin Zvoma has already made a ruling so that min Nhema's predecessor is no longer answerable. But sure,crime will not pay forever.

SIMUKAHUTU - 25 June 2014

Rather strange. I thought parliament could summon any person to give evidence, so why not invite Kasukuwere as a witness?

Mbongeni Sakhe - 25 June 2014

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