via Minister faces contempt of Parly charges – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 2, 2015
ENERGY and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge faces contempt of Parliament charges for allegedly dodging questions and walking out of the National Assembly on Wednesday before MPs could quizz him over the acute power shortage facing the country.
This came out as President Robert Mugabe yesterday defended Undenge, saying he was not responsible for the energy crisis.
MDC legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga proposed that Undenge be charged with contempt of Parliament, when the National Assembly sat yesterday.
“In connection with the conduct of the Minister of Energy on Wednesday, who, as you know the Constitution requires ministers to attend question and answer sessions, but he came and left, and you said he probably went to the toilet, but he did not come back. I propose the issue of contempt of Parliament should be raised on him,” she said.
“Perhaps you can come back and make a ruling whether his conduct on Wednesday does not constitute contempt, or the setting up of a committee under the Standing Rules and Orders Committee to explain his issue. The issue of electricity is a crisis and I do not think it is acceptable in terms of the Constitution for him to just disappear.”
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mabel Chinomona said she would study the matter and then give a ruling whether the matter constituted contempt of Parliament.
Undenge bolted out of the National Assembly as soon as the Wednesday question and answer session kicked off, leaving the MPs livid over his conduct.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters after landing at Harare International Airport from the 70th United National General Assembly meeting in New York, Mugabe said the power outages were being caused by low water levels at Kariba Dam.