A SMALL-SCALE miner, who recently told a public hearing that a member of national assembly was behind a plot to grab her gold mining claims on Friday approached Parliament seeking protection after she allegedly received threatening messages from a Zanu PF legislator.
BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE
Martha Thokozile Moyo from Silobela says she now lives in fear after giving oral evidence to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines which was gathering views on the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) petition on degradation, pollution by mining conglomerates and lack of corporate social responsibility programmes.
The law stipulates that whenever a person makes a contribution during public hearings, they are protected in terms of the Parliament Privileges and Immunities Act.
Moyo claimed that Silobela legislator Mthokozisi Manoki Mpofu (Zanu PF) was one of the individuals who were threatening her.
“When the Mines Committee came to gather oral evidence in Kwekwe, it was said we (participants) were going to be protected under the Parliament Privileges and Immunity Act, but I am concerned that I am now receiving threatening messages after I made contributions during the public hearing and this is haunting me,” Moyo told the committee.
“I fear for my life and my request now before the Mines Committee is that can I get Parliament protection because I was promised that protection.
“I am glad that the Silobela MP is here, but I am not working well with him and he is taking advantage of me,” she said.
Chairperson of the Mines Committee Edmond Mkaratigwa (Zanu PF) advised Moyo to submit her complaint in writing to the Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda for her to get a protection certificate in terms of the Parliament Privileges Act.
“Your issue is a special case and I can rightly tell you that you are protected by the Parliamentary Privileges and Immunity Act. We would require you to put your issue in writing and submit it to the Clerk of Parliament so that you can be protected. The Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda will give you a certificate of protection.”
In an interview with Southern Eye, Silobela MP Mpofu denied threatening Moyo.
“I do not know anything about that. I have never even spoken to her and I do not know who threatened her,” Mpofu said, adding that Moyo had problems with some gold miners over claims, and he did not know why she was dragging him into the squabble.