STAFF WRITER 14 March 2018
HARARE – The acting general manager (GM) at the Minerals Marketing
Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) revealed on Monday that the parastatal was
pressured to dish out money to the ruling party, in what constitutes fresh
evidence of the conflation between Zanu PF and the State.
Giving oral evidence on the report by Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri,
MMCZ acting GM Masimba Chandavengerwa told Parliament’s Public Accounts
Committee that pressure was brought to bear on management to release part
of the unaccounted for $2,7 million to Zanu PF. According to the report,
the MMCZ spent $2 989 913 on corporate social responsibility, against the
approved budget of $250 000.
History is replete with similar cases.
In 2015, when Allied Timbers Zimbabwe crossed swords with its then chief
executive officer Joseph Kanyekanye, it was also revealed that the
parastatal was forced to donate $20 000 towards the Zanu PF congress held
the previous year.
It was also reported that the $20 000 donations did not reach its intended
In 2016, former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo became the subject
of corruption investigations after he was alleged to have abused funds
belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. The State claims that
$400 000 which was supposed to be for students at tertiary institutions,
was diverted by Moyo to fund Zanu PF projects and purchasing bicycles for
traditional leaders in his then Tsholotsho constituency.
What is saddening is that this is now Zanu PF’s preferred modus operandi
in funding its activities.
Whenever, the party needs money, it commandeers its bureaucrats in
government to take their begging bowls to State-owned enterprises (SOEs)
under their portfolios for funding.
Part of the money raised from milking these SOEs goes into the pockets of
Government has nearly 100 SOEs, the bulk of which are hemorrhaging
because of State-sanctioned interference, poor corporate governance
practices, outright thefts and mismanagement.
The bulk of these SOEs are entirely dependent on government bailouts made
from the fiscus, which is funded by the struggling taxpayer.
Almost every year, the AG produces reports documenting the rot in these
SOEs, which have largely been ignored by government due to its complicit
in their failings. But despite their pathetic performance, executives in
these SOEs never miss an opportunity to donate to Zanu PF because anything
to the contrary can easily cost them jobs.
They are also the first to buy advertising space to congratulate their
bosses on their birthdays, graduation, and some such stupid events.
Under the new dispensation, Zanu PF cannot reduce these parastatals into
its soup kitchens and still hope to get away with it at the polls.