19 March 2018

Zimbabwe: MP Chides Colleagues for Skipping Moyo Zimdef Scam

OUTSPOKEN Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda has rebuked his colleagues for omitting ex-cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo and Zanu PF abuse of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) in a recent report on the activities of the organisation by a parliamentary committee.

Prof Moyo, the now exiled former Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, was under investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for allegedly embezzling $400,000 in Zimdef funds.

He admitted using part of the funds towards purchasing bicycles for traditional leaders in Tsholotsho North, his constituency at the time, and procuring 100,000 litres of fuel for the Zanu PF youth wing ahead of then President Robert Mugabe's one-million-man-march 2016.

There was however, wide belief the Zanu PF-led regime was not too keen on prosecuting Moyo for diverting part of the funds towards party activities.

Parliament's higher and tertiary education portfolio committee recently embarked on a countrywide tour of universities to assess the state of projects funded under Zimdef, later producing a report on the excursion.

The report was tabled before parliament this past week by committee chairperson Peter Mataruse.

In its contents, there was nothing to suggest some of the funds were once diverted towards funding Zanu PF activities.

Sibanda, an MDC-T legislator, challenged the omission.

"We are all aware and it is in the public domain that last year allegations that were raised against the former minister ended up pointing to the fact that fuel that was bought by Zimdef was handed to Zanu PF.

"That is a project as well which was being funded by Zimdef. However, it does not appear in the Committee's report, but we have to talk about it.

"Zimdef and any other quasi-government institutions should stop funding political parties and maintain the mandate that they were given."

Sibanda said he "decried the stripping of assets and resources from those organisations for political end".

"Specifically speaking to the issue of Zimdef, we are all aware that last year when the issue of the Zimdef funds were raised, it is very critically clear that even as individual were being pin-pointed to have abused resources but at the end of the day the beneficiary of the resources that came out of Zimdef was Zanu PF as a political party.

"Zanu PF as a political party or any other political that is going to be in government any other time, I think we should learn to distance our hands from the pots of resources that are being held in quasi-Government institutions."

When allegations of financial impropriety were first levelled against him, Moyo adamantly refused this was tantamount any abuse, insisting he was like the legendary Robin Hood who stole from the rich to benefit the poor.

"The state of underdevelopment in Tsholotsho is such that bicycles are a necessity just like matches!

"It is criminal to claim that a decision by the ZimDef Trustee, me, to fund computers & bicycles requested by Tsholotsho RDC (Rural District Council) is corruption!"

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