OPPOSITION parties have said the alleged pillaging of money from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) has laid bare accusations that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is funding itself using State resources.
Source: Zimdef scam exposes Zanu PF, Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 12, 2016
BY Everson Mushava
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu yesterday said it was now clear for everyone to see that Mugabe’s government was routinely preying on State enterprises to fund its activities and retain power at the expense of public services provision.
Gutu said the country’s highly-conflated State-party governance system had allowed Mugabe to have unlimited access to public funds for party activities, as well as lining the pockets of its beneficiaries appointed as ministers.
“This is why Zanu PF creates parastatals at the slightest chance, to loot and finance its activities,” he said.
“At independence, we had 14 viable parastatals, but today, we have 77 parastatals that are looted and technically insolvent. It is actually a tragedy of monumental proportions. They dip their fingers into coffers of State corporations through an intricate system of criminality.”
Last week, Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, escaped arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission after Mugabe’s intervention.
The duo had been implicated in the alleged looting of over $430 000 from Zimdef. The minister has, however, claimed he used the funds to fund Zanu PF’s million-man march and justified his actions by saying he was not the only minister implicated in such deals.
Moyo has claimed that most officials from his party and government have benefited from the Zimdef funds.
Zimbabwe People First spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said the Zimdef saga had revealed that Mugabe, his wife Grace and Zanu PF as variables in the corruption matrix and perpetuating a culture of impunity.
“In the Godwills Masimirembwa $6 million case, we hear the defence was the money was used at the orphanage, the same reason given by Nkululeko Sibanda, when he allegedly looted $2 015 650 meant for the rehabilitation of Ilitshe Road and the construction of a bridge across Umguza River,” he said.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former Finance minister, Tendai Biti said there were strict finance management policies at central government, but Zanu PF had been using parastatals and local authorities to siphon funds.
“What I can say is that there are grandmasters of corruption in Zanu PF. If corruption was a religion, there could be some popes and bishops in Zanu PF. Look at how these quasi-government bodies such as Zesa, Zinara, Zimdef, Grain Marketing Board and others are being looted to finance Zanu PF and line the pockets of the ministers. Zanu PF has always been funding the party through the State,” he said.
PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said: “There is wanton abuse of funds and reckless use of State funds. The government has been captured by these people along factional lines. We have asked the hyenas to look after the goats, it’s a free-for-all. We would be lucky to find any bones when they are through with the eating.”
Mugabe runs a Soviet-type communist government, where key staff in State institutions are appointed by government to satisfy government and party desires.
The command system has allowed the party to access funds from public institutions to finance its activities as well as fatten the pockets of line ministers.
Parastatals have been buying cars for ministers, apart from funding Zanu PF functions and work.
The Posts and Courier Services ministry used the Postal and Telecommunications Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe and State-owned mobile firm NetOne to buy condition-of-service vehicles for Information and Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira and his deputy Win Mlambo.
CMED has also reportedly bought Transport minister Joram Gumbo a service vehicle.