By Daniel Chigundu
Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy is expected to table a report in the National Assembly next week seeking authority to charge Minister of Home Affairs Obert Mpofu with contempt of Parliament for failing to appear before the committee.
Minister Mpofu who was in charge of the mining portfolio when the country reportedly lost about US$15 billion worth of diamond revenue refused to answer questions from the committee the last time he came demanding that chairperson Honourable Temba Mliswa should excuse himself.
The committee has received oral evidence from almost everyone who was involved directly or indirectly in the mining of diamonds in the country with the former President Robert Mugabe also expected to have his time with the committee.
Some of the officials who gave evidence to the committee claimed that they were acting on instructions and directives from Minister Mpofu to make certain questionable decisions.
In an interview, Honourable Mliswa said his committee was finalising a report with recommendations that seek among other things to charge the Minister with contempt of Parliament for his behaviour.
“Our committee has made its recommendations which should be tabled in Parliament and then a Privileges Committee will be put together if the Speaker is happy with the recommendations.
“So we will table it before Parliament next week, our recommendations for Obert Mpofu’s failure to attend and the Speaker will make a ruling that is the procedure,” he said.
The 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe which is nearing the end of its term will resume business on the 29th of May.
Minister Mpofu is deemed to be corrupt by many Zimbabweans who claim that he got most of his wealth when he was in charge of the Mines Ministry.
Unconfirmed reports also claim that the Minister is so rich to the extent that he owns almost half of the buildings in Bulawayo’s Central Business District and various others buildings in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
At one time Mpofu was accused and actually reported to Mugabe by businessman Lovemore Kurotwi of having asked for a US$10 million bribe to facilitate a mining licence for Carnadile Mining.
A few months ago, Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to have a due diligence done on Minister Mpofu and other high ranking government officials before they are allowed to continue in government.
Corruption by high ranking government officials has been blamed for chasing away many potential foreign investors from the country scuttling resuscitation of such important companies as Zisco Steel among others.
By Daniel Chigundu