BY MOSES MATENGA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is under fire and faces a potential lawsuit for alleged abuse of public funds after buying vehicles for the controversial Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) platform members.
Mnangagwa’s office used over US$1 million to purchase vehicles for at least 19 principals of different political parties who participated in the 2018 elections, but dismally lost.
The purchase angered different sections of Zimbabwean society who feel that it was wasteful and illegal for Mnangagwa to do so, especially when the government has been unable to fund the health sector or improve public service wages.
Polad principals have also been pampered with diplomatic passports and have been promised farms.
MDC deputy national chairperson, Job Sikhala yesterday told NewsDay that it was possible to sue Mnangagwa and the government for using unbudgeted public funds to procure the Polad vehicles.
“It is very much possible to take legal action on the grounds that the money used to buy the vehicles was not budgeted for through the Finance Bill to do with the budget, which is passed into law every year during the budget debate. This expenditure is not known where it is withdrawn from,” Sikhala said.
He also told a State media platform that it was possible to effect a citizen arrest on the beneficiaries of Polad vehicles.
But Zanu PF legal affairs secretary Paul Mangwana yesterday dismissed Sikhala as ignorant of governance processes.
“He doesn’t know anything. He needs to go to a school of governance to understand how a government functions. He doesn’t even know how a national budget operates, and it is unfortunate that he is saying that in public instead of seeking understanding first,” Mangwana said.
“There is a lot of discretion that is given to the President to use resources allocated to him, and so I am sure that is what was utilised. Nothing illegal was done, but let him (Sikhala) try it (taking legal action).”
Recently, one of the beneficiaries of the Polad vehicles, and National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Lovemore Madhuku (pictured) was taken to task to clarify the budget vote from which the money to purchase the Polad vehicles was drawn from.
Madhuku told journalists that the vehicles would be used by the 19 beneficiaries to campaign for the 2023 elections, and for Polad business.