Zanu Pf MPs Refuse To Hear Oral Evidence On Hwange Colliery From British Businessman

Proceedings in the Mines and Energy parliamentary portfolio committee yesterday ground to a halt after Zanu Pf legislators challenged chairperson of the committee Temba Mliswa’s decision to hear oral evidence from British businessman and Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL) shareholder Nicholas Van Hoogstraten.

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The legislators argued that Van Hoogstraten could not give evidence before the committee since the matter was now before the courts.

Van Hoogstraten had flown all the way from London to give oral evidence before the Mliswa-chaired committee following the committee’s invitation – but before he said anything, Zanu PF MPs disrupted him saying he will never give oral evidence on the HCCL issue.

“We cannot deliberate on a case which is before the courts,” interjected Chiredzi North MP Royi Bhilah.

Mliswa overruled Bhilah’s point of order saying that Van Hoogstraten must continue with his evidence, but he was challenged by more Zanu PF legislators Tafanana Zhou (Mberengwa North), Soul Nzuma (Buhera West), John Paradza (Gutu West) and other Zanu PF legislators.

“In my briefing I was very clear that we are not going to focus on the reconstruction of HCCL which is the issue before the courts. As MPs of this committee you are now exposing yourselves to the media and the world because of the manner in which you are behaving,” Mliswa said.

MDC Alliance legislator Settlement Chikwinya added: “It is unfortunate that it seems a party caucus has been arrived at to the extent that MPs from one political party have decided to disrupt a process that is going on, and it is unfortunate that Zanu PF chooses to be disruptive.”

As the noise ensued, Van Hoogstraten then remarked: “Is there no procedure here that people that are disrupting proceedings in Parliament must be removed? You should have respect for this Parliament.”

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