Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
FORMER President Mr Robert Mugabe is off the hook after Parliament recused him from appearing before a parliamentary committee over claims he made in 2016 that $15 billion in diamond revenues was unaccounted for.
Parliament has since adjourned pending its dissolution on July 29 ahead of the general election slated for July 30.
On two occasions, Mr Mugabe failed to appear before the committee without giving any reasons prompting Parliament to write him a final letter.
The decision to summon the former Head of State and Government followed a claim he made in February 2016 that the country could have been prejudiced of more than $15 billion in diamond revenue from Chiadzwa.
At one time, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy resolved to send a final letter to Mr Mugabe warning that he could be arrested for contempt of Parliament if he continued to dodge the hearing.
Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa who is the Mines and Energy committee chairperson presented the diamond report as Parliament wound up its business last Thursday.
“The former President His Excellency Cde RG Mugabe was unable to attend at the appointed hour and the Committee was due to meet to consider summoning him as a measure of last resort but after further consultations with the Hon Speaker, he was recused from attending,” reads a section of the report Mr Mliswa presented in parliament.
No reason was given for the recusal.
Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday confirmed that all business of the 8th Parliament had been concluded.
“It has been adjourned until the 29th of July when it constitutionally automatically dissolves. All the committees have concluded their business. It adjourned on the Thursday last week on the 7th of June but should a matter of importance arise, which requires the decision of Parliament, it can be recalled anytime before the 29th of July,” said Adv Mudenda.
Section 147 of the Constitution states that “on the dissolution of Parliament, all proceedings pending at the time are terminated and every Bill, motion, petition and other business lapses”.
Section 143 of the Constitution, which outlines the duration and dissolution of Parliament, states: “Parliament is elected for a five-year term which runs from the date on which the President-elect is sworn in and assumes office in terms of Section 94(1) (a), and Parliament stands dissolved at midnight on the day before the first polling day in the next general election called in terms of section 144.”