By-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son-in-law and Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) chairperson Gerald Mlotshwa snubbed the Youth, Sports, Arts, and Recreation Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.
Mlotshwa was scheduled to appear before the Parliamentary Committee Tuesday morning and answer questions on the country’s state of football, but he failed to show up.
The committee resolved to charge Mlotshwa with contempt of parliament if he fails to avail himself on Wednesday morning.
The committee is chaired by Chivi North MP Mathias Tongofa (ZANU PF) and other committee members include Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) vice-president Gift Banda, ex-ZIFA vice-president Omega Sibanda, Oscar Gorerino, Tatenda Mavetera and Trevor Saruwaka.
Youth, Sports, Arts, and Recreation ministry permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo attended the meeting, but the committee resolved to adjourn it to Wednesday due to the unavailability of the SRC officials.
Initially, it was said Mlotshwa was out of the country before Chitepo later suggested that he could be in Bulawayo.
Later on Tuesday, Mlotshwa said he could not attend the meeting because the invitation was at short notice. Said the SRC in a statement:
Correspondence dated Friday, February 18, 2022, was delivered to SRC at 1605 hours inviting the SRC chairman to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation after the public holiday on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
The invitation, not constituting a summons from Parliament, was at woefully short notice.
The Clerk of Parliament (Kennedy Chokuda) has acknowledged that the invite should not have been sent at such short notice. He received and accepted the chairman’s apologies.
He is out of Harare for the better part of the week, having left town on the morning of Friday, February 18.
He has been in communication with the Clerk of Parliament over the matter for a mutually agreed date when the SRC board is likely to appear before the committee.
The SRC has already, nonetheless, given its written submissions to the committee in lieu of, and anticipation of, its appearance.
Care must be taken by all concerned not to appear to be interfering or undermining those processes underway or pending before our courts and other investigatory authorities.
Meanwhile, Chitepo said the quarrel between SRC and ZIFA was also a matter of concern to Mnangagwa and his Cabinet.
On 16 November last year, SRC suspended the Felton Kamambo-led board over a litany of allegations, which they have denied.