By Nyasha N Mukapiko
The Portfolio Committee on Youth yesterday failed to ascertain and probe Minister Patrick Zhuwao on how his Ministry engaged a company called Triple Bottom Line Consultancy (3BL) to do work for the ministry without an engagement contract after the Minister appeared before the committee while drunk.
Progress was hindered as Minister Zhuwao took the committee into a circus as he kept on querying reasons that had precipitated his invite, laughing out uncontrollably throughout the session.
Minister Zhuwao accused the committee of witch hunt arguing his invite on the basis that 3BL and his Permanent Secretary had once appeared before the committee and furnished them with information they required.
“Hon Minister we don’t hunt witches here, we do our work and I don’t see you as a witch”, said Hon Justice Mayor Wadyajena who is the chair of the youth committee.
Chair Wadyajena became irritated; telling Minister Zhuwao that he was free to leave the committee if he had came unprepared to respond to questions after a month long invitation.
Earlier on Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya had suggested for adjournment of business upon discovering that Minister Zhuwao was under the influence of some illicit substance.
“My name is Patrick Zhuwao I am an individual, I respond in the manner that I know how to respond”, Zhuwao kept on repeatedly saying the same statement while dodging questions.
Minister Zhuwao denied having relationship at personal level with Miss Thandiwe Ngwenya the director of 3BL but associated the relationship that existed as of traditional nature.
“Miss Ngwenya is not my friend; she is a Ngwenya in the same way that anybody who is a Ngwenya has the same totem as my mother, it is African that when I meet a Ngwenya ndinovati amai” Zhuwao said.
The Youth Minister said there was no engagement contract between the ministry and 3BL as previously highlighted by his permanent secretary, however he denied responding to allegations that 3BL had sent an US$20k invoice seeking payment from the ministry on the conditions that he was not the accounting officer.
The dreadlocked Zhuwao further denied having by-passed government procedures by giving Miss Ngwenya government documents without knowledge of the Permanent Secretary who is the custodian and has the mandate to do the job.
After more than a wasted one hour failing to yield positive results the committee unanimously agreed to adjourn the committee to next week Thursday, summoning Zhuwao to leave the house.
Responding questions to members of the press soon after the sitting Zhuwao accused the legislators constituting the Youth Committee for wasting tax payers’ money on hotel accommodation and transport allowance.
“Parliament portfolio committees need to apply themselves in a very rigorous manner to the work that they are doing and to make sure that they interrogate evidence that has presented to them so that they don’t constantly waste tax payers money”, Zhuwao waffled.
The utterances of witch hunt by Zhuwao might have emanated from the factional fights that has teared the ruling Zanu-PF apart as it is evidently known that Justice Mayor Wadyajena belongs to Crocodile faction led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa while Patrick Zhuwao is from G40 faction led by First Lady Grace Mugabe.