TOP Zanu PF politicians reportedly donated biscuits and children’s snacks to thousands of flood victims in Matabeleland North’s Tsholotsho district purporting the goods were coming from President Robert Mugabe raising public furore over the contributions, NewsDay has learnt.
Source: Mugabe fumes over donation – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 16, 2017
BY STAFF REPORTER
It could not be understood why the goods were donated on behalf of the President without him knowing, according to his office.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba yesterday flatly denied Mugabe had made any donation to the Tsholotsho community.
“The President is not aware that he has donated anything. I asked him and he expressed surprise. We do not know where it came from, but maybe it is the spirit of lying that is upon us. It is an attempt to ridicule the First Family, but it will not fly. When we are going to make a donation, we will inform you,” Charamba said.
Higher Education minister and Tsholotsho North lawmaker Jonathan Moyo, in a desperate bid to shield Mugabe from growing public anger especially on social media, used his Twitter page to post what he called an “updated list of donations” to the stricken families.
“This is a comprehensive update from the chairperson of the Tsholotsho Civil Protection Unit on donations to flood victims in Wards 6, 7 and 8!” Moyo said, showing a picture of a list of donations that included the supposed “Mugabe donation”.
Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T reportedly scoffed at Mugabe’s donation, describing it as an “insult” to the people of Tsholotsho.
Moyo also slated Mugabe’s critics, accusing them of being hypocrites given they have argued against “politicisation of food aid”.
The initial list that aroused public outrage showed Mugabe had donated 1 000 cartons of Zapnacks that retail at 10 cents a packet, 1 000 units of bottled water and 1 000 packets of 2kg biscuits.
But the fresh list made available by Moyo indicated that the Zanu PF leader’s donation now included 1 000 x 10kg bags of the staple maize meal.
Moyo’s list showed a stamp from Abednigo Ncube’s Rural Development ministry.
“The President can be credited with authorisation of Airforce helicopters that airlifted the affected in his capacity as Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” Charamba said.
However, there were no changes to contributions from Hope Restoration Ministries, who donated 14 blankets and 15 plastic bags of clothes, Bulawayo City Club’s 1 000kg of maize meal and sanitary pads and Chemscore’s donation of two full sets of water filters.
Mugabe’s “donation” had not only been suddenly swollen by the maize meal “contribution”, but it also indicated that it had been received by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema on February 24.
Moyo yesterday told NewsDay the announcement was publicly made by Mathema on February 24 at a briefing to a ministerial delegation led by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
“Delivery was recorded by Mat North & Tsholotsho Civil Protection Units. Call the Mat North PA & Tsholotsho DA,” Moyo said.
While the first list that was circulated indicated Moyo had donated groceries worth $2 000, a beast worth $400, movable boards and a generator, the new list also showed his grocery contributions had swelled considerably.
Mugabe, who on February 25 hosted a multi-million-dollar birthday ceremony in Matabeleland South’s Matobo district, where he was pictured munching on banned imported snacks before splurging over $1 million on a medical trip to the Far East, has not visited the affected families.
The Zanu PF leader continues on his travels having already been to Ghana after his Singapore medical trip and was expected to fly to Swaziland for a Sadc Extraordinary Summit later this week.
Charamba confirmed the Zimbabwean leader would attend the summit. “We are a member and a dutiful and responsible member of the bloc. These summits come in between annual meetings to trek progress on the industrialisation programme and integration of Sadc economies,” Charamba said.
The Sadc industrialisation programme was adopted during Mugabe’s tenure as chairman of the bloc between 2014 and 2015.