Mzembi caught in suspicions web over UNWTO funds, vehicles

via Mzembi caught in suspicions web over UNWTO funds,vehicles – The Zimbabwe Independent April 24, 2015

TOURISM minister Walter Mzembi is reportedly under investigation for allegedly abusing funds and cars bought for the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly, co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2013.

Government sources said this week the investigation, apparently triggered by Zanu PF’s ongoing internal strife, follows claims Mzembi abused US$2,5 million donated to the Tourism ministry by Mbada Diamonds for the purchase of vehicles and equipment used during the event in Victoria Falls.

“An investigation was carried out by some members from the party and they claim Mzembi bought eight vehicles which he gave to close associates,” said a senior Zanu PF source.

“Mzembi allegedly took one car for himself, gave a lady only identified as Zodwa another, his nephew got one while two vehicles were given to ousted former vice-president Joice Mujuru’s faction.”

However, in an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week Mzembi refuted all allegations saying only six cars were bought and all can be accounted for.

“We bought six cars during the build up to the UNWTO and these were distributed as follows: I took one since I was heavily involved and had no off- road vehicle from government, one vehicle was given to Margaret Sangarwe, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality,” said Mzembi. “Aaron Mushoriwa and Susan Makombe, who were part of the trust that arranged the hosting of the event, were also given a vehicle each.”

Mzembi also said two trucks were repossessed by Tata after Mbada failed to complete the payments of the vehicles.

“This is a list of the cars that we bought and I challenge whoever thinks that I misused the funds to bring evidence because everything was approved by a board of trustees.”

“People do not have the correct information so they rush to conclude and even report a person to the police without concrete evidence,” said Mzembi adding: “What we are witnessing in the country is a situation where partisan politics is being dragged into government business, yet the two should operate separately.”

In the build up to the UNWTO summit, government formed a UNWTO Corporate Resources Mobilisation Trust (CRMT) to bolster shaky preparations for the conference which were hit by serious funding problems as Treasury failed to release US$6,5 million to host the event.

The objectives of the CRMT was to oversee the management of resources mobilised by consultants appointed by the minister for the purposes of resource mobilisation to assist the funding of preparations for and hosting of the summit. — Staff writer


  • comment-avatar

    It cost $2,500,000 to buy eight, err six, vehicles? Were they all F1 race cars? That’s over $400,000 each! I’m sure that even an armor-plated, top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz does not cost that much. No wonder the country is going down the tubes, if that’s where government’s priorities lie.

    • comment-avatar
      Seb Vettel 7 years ago

      Carbon-fibre chassis (with nothing on it)of an F1 car is valued at .5 million USD

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    grabmore 7 years ago

    What does “everything was approved by a board of trustees” mean?

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    What does, “The objectives of the CRMT (Corporate Resources Mobilisation Trust) was to oversee the management of resources mobilised by consultants appointed by the minister for the purposes of resource mobilisation to assist the funding of preparations for and hosting of the summit,” mean?

    It could be re-written to state more clearly that, “The objectives of the Corporate Resources Mobilisation Trust was to oversee the management of the money extorted by thugs, appointed by the minister, to pay for preparations for and hosting of the summit.”

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    Gwengwe 7 years ago

    At this rate, who needs a working economy. Ministers and their hangers on can share the spoils of a dying economy and still appear to be “true sons and daughters of the soil”. They take advantage of a sleeping old horse.

    They are out competing each other in this area and even forming splinters, driven by who got what in this national pillage orgy. The military generals are supporting this because they too are enjoying the fruits of their positions. That leaves the ordinary soldier. The one who must bear the brunt of chilly rain at attention in the open while fat cats make silly speeches like promises that bonuses will be coming from a jar they know they have already raided and there is nothing left.

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    todiizvazvo 7 years ago

    This is hogwash!! everyboby knows the monies where abused if buying of cars means full accounting of the money then yes a docket has to be opened for fraud rather theft. Dont blame politics to justify looting at least this time ZANU is arresting its own ,”kudya vana vayo”.Of late we have notioced that these boards of trustee and other boards are the most corrupt of all!!!

    Just arrest this gamatox!1

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    Petal 7 years ago

    Hope it gets international news coverage

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    shepherd 7 years ago

    We often times than not read in the news that Mbada has been draged to the courts for failing to pay its employees. Here we are told that they have managed to “donate” two million dollars for buying cars. This shows the mentality of our leaders towards the general populace. No minister or government official checks the welfare of people in the industry. All they can do is to make the industry divert money from profitable business and salaries to donations which will be seen fight over their squandering.

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    Changamire Dombo 7 years ago

    Why doesn’t he follow Dr. Peter Chikumba at College?

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    U don’t take cars to keep. U use during the exercises, and give back once exercise is finished. Hence the cars should be there to count.. Not keep