via Chris Mushohwe not a good liar NewZimbabwe 11/04/2014
MANICALAND Provincial Affairs Minister, Christopher Mushohwe Thursday stuttered as he tried to convince parliamentarians his hands were clean in the scandal-ridden Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.
Mushohwe, who is President Robert Mugabe’s point man in Manicaland, was caught hands deep in the cash till when it emerged he had been running the bank account in which diamond companies were to deposit the funds.
Asked to state his case before parliament’s committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Mushohwe chose the clumsiest of ways to escape liability.
The Zanu PF politician, who is not new to scandals, claimed he was ordered by then Youth and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere through an August 20, 2012 letter to ensure that the five diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa paid up the $10 million they each purpotedly pledged at the launch of the trust.
“If indeed I wrote it, it was because the then minister of Youth had written to me asking me as Provincial minister who had the responsibility to oversee strategic government programmes and projects to make sure that the pledges made were honoured,” Mushohwe said.
Glaring inconsistencies punctuated Mushowe’s responses.
Having initially denied that he had written to diamond companies demanding that they honour their pledges, Mushohwe made yet another spectacular summersault, telling the MPs he had forgotten that he had infact written to Anjin.
Another letter was produced and read out to him by committee chairperson and Zanu PF lawmaker Justice Mayor Wadyajena.
Surprisingly the letter despite showing that it had been written in August 2012, it was only date-stamped on April 4 this year.
“I had forgotten that I wrote the letter, this is my signature. I cannot comment why the stamps have different dates because they did not originate from my ministry,” he responded.
He also admitted that he was related to Jinan board member Brian Mushohwe who is the son of his cousin but claimed his younger relative had been appointed by then Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.
Kasukuwere, now in charge of environment, has come under fire for producing suspicious documents to “prove” that diamond mines in Marange had pledged $10 million towards the scheme.
Mushohwe, despite claims he was ordered by Kasukuwere to follow up on the companies’ pledges, told the committee he had never seen any letters and in-spite of this, admitted he went on to pursue only Jinan investment.
Zanu PF legislator for Goromonzi West Biata Nyamupinga demanded to know the amounts Mushowe was demanding from the companies when he made the follow up to which the provincial minister accused the committee of witch hunting.
“Honestly, I never expected that this committee would engage in witch-hunt. I only made a follow up to the company that had made President Robert Mugabe to present a dummy cheque to the community which is now asking me where the money is,” he said.
Mushohwe contradicted himself again.
“My role is dual. As MP I have a legislative responsibility to make sure the social circumstances are ameliorated and as Provincial minister, I have a very clear oversight role to play to intervene for government where necessary.
“So if I give impetus, it’s not that I am interfering, it’s a responsibility that I must take,” he said.
Mushohwe buttressed Kasukuwere’s claims that the diamond companies had indeed pledged to pay the $50 million saying they were all represented when the Mugabe launched the MZCSOT in 2012 despite reports that Mpofu and Mbada Diamonds were neither present nor represented.