13 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Minerals Board Says Forced to Donate to Zanu-PF

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) officials told the Public Accounts Committee that they were constantly forced to donate towards Zanu PF events during president Robert Mugabe's era.

The officials were answering to questions on abuse of public funds noted in the 2016 Auditor General's reports. The committee needed an explanation on the source of the funds and the specific beneficiaries of the unforeseen expenditures.

Law maker Godfrey Sithole asked the managers to explain why the donations budget transformed from $250 000 to an unbudgeted expenditure of $2, 9 million.

"Did you make any donations to political organisations or political functions? Maybe if you just mention which political events? Were you arm twisted or it was consensual?" Sithole also asked.

In response, MMCZ general manager, Masimba Chandavengeswa, said the managers could not defy the instruction of the shareholders.

"These donations are donations that were donated to the shareholder. The ministry of Mines in particular and we have an institution called MPC (Mining Promotion Corporation) which is again a government company for exploration so we found ourselves from time to time government or the ministry directing that we release funds for operation of such institutions.," he said.

"Why did we go above? It's one of those situations where you find yourself the money is there, the need has been highlighted to the corporation by the shareholder to donate and we ended up donating.

On donations to any political party, he said, "Yes you will see on the list, we did donate to political parties. They were Zanu PF functions. When we give the list, you will see the instructions that came to say can you donate so much to this function and we acted accordingly."

Asked by chair of the committee whether or not he could furnish the committee with a list of beneficiaries, Chandavengeswa promised to avail the list next week.

Zesa chief executive officer Josh Chifamba told parliament's Mines committee recently that the power authority was arm-twisted to donate towards the ruling party's Victoria Fall's conference and $125 000 to buy a 38 seater bus for the former first lady's Danhiko school for the disabled.

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