THE Transport and Communications portfolio committee has urged parliament to institute contempt charges against Zimpapers boss Justin Mutasa after he barred its members from carrying out an enquiry on the operations of the state-owned Chronicle newspaper
Sources said the committee, chaired by Makonde MP Leo Mugabe, wrote this week to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, John Nkomo, urging him to cause contempt of Parliament charges to be instituted against Mutasa.
They added that initially the committee wanted President Robert Mugabe’s press secretary George Charamba included as a collaborator, but his name was withdrawn after he apologised.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Nkomo said: “I am in Bulawayo. I am not in Harare so I do not know what is happening.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Mugabe refused to comment on the issue but revealed that his committee would be returning to the Chronicle on Monday.
“After we were barred from the Chronicle three weeks ago, we will be returning on Monday. On Tuesday we will be at the Herald,” said Mugabe.
Asked about the purposes of the investigations at the two government mouthpieces, Mugabe said his committee had received submissions from the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and workers at the papers, which are of concern to the lawmakers.
The committee also held enquiries into the operations of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and New Ziana.