POLICE investigations into alleged looting of funds by Zanu PF bigwigs in Manicaland province took a new dimension yesterday amid reports the officials had also looted a herd of cattle belonging to the party in addition to diamond proceeds.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI STAFF REPORTER
This comes at a time police have commenced investigations into the conduct of Zanu PF provincial chairman Mike Madiro, ousted provincial youth chairman Tawanda Mukodza, provincial youth secretary for security Admire Mahachi, provincial youth secretary for information Masimbamakuru Kangai and former district co-ordinating committee chair for Mutare Clever Muparutsa.
Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge is reportedly leading the investigations.
It is understood that apart from “helping” themselves to an estimated $1 million “sourced” from diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa, the provincial stalwarts also solicited for scores of head of cattle from party sympathisers, claiming they would be slaughtered at Zanu PF events, but reportedly kept the beasts themselves.
Zanu PF Manicaland secretary for production and labour John Chirimambowa told NewsDay that he was questioned yesterday by police on why he was keeping some cattle for Madiro on his farm. The cattle were meant for the 21st February Movement that was held in Mutare last year, but were allegedly not declared to the Zanu PF national fundraising committee.
“The investigating police officers called me today (yestersday) morning, asking about the 10 beasts I kept on behalf of him (Madiro),” Chirimambowa said.
“I told them that the cows were bought from my farm, but they were never taken so I kept them, but only for two months. He (Madiro) took three beasts which were slaughtered at our inter-district conference. Personally I did not know whether the herd was declared to the party or not. I was just asked to keep the cattle on his behalf since they were bought from my farm. I did not ask him because I thought everything was above board.”
As of yesterday, the investigators had visited Chiadzwa diamond companies where Madiro and his co-accused are alleged to have received $750 000 on behalf of Zanu PF which they allegedly converted to their own use.
The investigations also reportedly made enquiries into the source of funds of the accused, fleet of cars and houses in Mutare and Harare.
Although Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri said he was not aware of the investigation, close sources opened up and confirmed the development.
“The investigation team is on the ground now as we are speaking. They started on Monday. As part of the investigation, they went to Chiadzwa mines and are inquiring from individuals who kept some assets on behalf of the accused,” said a close source that refused to be named.
“There are a lot of issues besides the money from Chiadzwa and all were extorted in the name of the party.”
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said: “They (investigations) should be done as soon as possible and we want them completed like yesterday so that those found on the wrong side of the law can be prosecuted.”
Before the current investigation by police, Zanu PF had instituted its own internal probe, led by Manicaland deputy provincial chairperson Dorothy Mabika.