The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development, Temba Mliswa was left licking his wounds this Monday and had to apologise to committee members for trying to force them to gather oral evidence on a matter that is before the courts.

The committee was supposed to gather oral evidence from Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) shareholder and businessman, Nicholas van Hoogstraten on the operations of the ailing coal miner.

Tension was written all over the senate chamber when Mr Van Hoogstraten and journalists were let into the chamber, having been made to wait for more than an hour outside while the committee caucused.

It did not take long before the house exploded.

Mberengwa East legislator, Cde Tafanana Zhou obliged to Mr Van Hoogstraten testifying, citing that it was not prudent as the Hwange issues was before the courts.

Much as Mliswa tried to persuade, coerce, threaten and even accuse some committee members of pushing an unspecified agenda, they did not budge.

The committee eventually adjourned after three unproductive hours and Mliswa eventually apologised to committee members for his stance on the matter, saying it divided the committee.

The government, through Attorney General Prince Machaya, last week applied for a court order to place HCCL under administration, with the state seeking an order in terms of section 8 of the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act.

In the High Court papers, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi argued that the coal miner was placed under reconstruction after it became clear that it could no longer repay the $220 million debt it owes creditors.