Attorney-General Advocate Prince Machaya told the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development that it has no authority to exercise its oversight role over private companies such as Hwange Colliery Company.
He said Parliament cannot summon an administrator appointed by Government to appear before it. He said the Reconstruction of State Indebted and Insolvency Companies Act, which was invoked by the Government to place Hwange Colliery Company under an administrator was Constitutional. Said Machaya:
In the case of companies which are put under reconstruction, the fact that they are indebted to the State does not necessarily make them Government agencies. Parliament cannot exercise its powers over a company like Hwange, any power that it would not otherwise have if it is not under an order of reconstruction because it is a privately-controlled company. It has got its shareholders and other people. If there was no order of reconstruction, Parliament cannot play its oversight over Hwange. The order of reconstruction itself does not make Hwange an institution of Government.