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Zanu PF hijacks trusts

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ZANU PF top brass has been accused of hijacking Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOT).

REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

According Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ), top party politicians in Gwanda, Mhondoro Ngezi, Marange and Kwekwe were using their political clout to clandestinely award themselves lucrative tenders at the expense of local communities.

The TIZ probe said: “There is a lot of political interference in CSOTs and because of that they are now widely seen as a Zanu PF creation meant to benefit its members instead of the wider community and Zimbabweans regardless of party affiliation.”

CSOTs were formed as conduits for community participation through ownership of shares in the mining sector where 10% shareholding was reserved for the communities.

TIZ investigations showed that politicians and bureaucrats overseeing the CSOTs have become the main beneficiaries of the community schemes.

“These are the people who are corruptly rewarded by being appointed to the CSOT structures and are the very same people who win tenders to build schools, clinics and offer services required.

“The loser naturally is the wide community that suffers when competent people who have the technical know-how and credentials to drive local development are excluded due to corruption and political patronage,” the TIZ report read.

“There is rampant corruption and those who win tenders to build schools and clinics are those with strong links to members of the trusts and who also show unequivocal support for Zanu PF.”

The report also questioned the “excessive involvement” of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

“There is need to depoliticise the formation of CSOTs in Zimbabwe, and to have transparency and accountability in the management of the trust funds,” TIZ said.

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