THE Zanu PF youth league in Bulawayo has been caught up in a fresh financial scandal with the wing’s secretary for indigenisation Davis Mhambi accused of cheating struggling Bulawayo firms to donate nearly $20 000 towards President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday celebrations last month.
This came out during a stormy youth league meeting on Friday to conduct a post-mortem of Mugabe’s birthday bash as well as to discuss the provincial celebrations.
Zanu PF insiders told our Bulawayo Bureau yesterday that the $20 000 raised a storm during the meeting.
“During the Friday meeting which lasted several hours, a post-mortem report on the 21st February Movement was presented.
“We heard that about $8 000 was raised from the fundraising activities we had, of which $1 958 was from gate-takings at the dinner dance and $6 000 was raised from six tables taken,” an insider said.
“About $2 200 was incurred in expenses. However, we also heard that one company owner refused to make any donations when approached.
“He (company owner) said he had already contributed through Mhambi as he usually did to him during the primary elections for T-shirts and caps, so he said he was tired of donating.
“But that amount, which is about $20 000, is unaccounted for.”
After the finance report, Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial youth chairperson Khumbulani Mpofu invited questions.
“Members demanded to know from Mhambi, who was in attendance, what had happened to the cash, of which he was heard saying the $20 000 was nothing to him, meaning he had lots of money,” the insider said.
“A verbal confrontation dominated the question session. It was resolved that another meeting would be convened on the matter.
“What angered the comrades most was that Mhambi is virtually unknown in the party.
“He only surfaced in the run-up to the December provincial elections where he landed a post.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, Mhambi refused to shed light on the matter.
“I do not speak about party issues to the Press, thank you,” Mhambi said before hanging up.
Mpofu was not answering his mobile phone yesterday.
Previously, several high-profile party members have been fingered for converting funds and gifts meant for Mugabe’s birthday bash to their personal use.
This year, a tonne of sugar is said to have gone missing and politburo member Edison Chakanyuka, who is the deputy secretary for youth, central committee member Innocent Hamandishe and other party officials have been implicated in the scandal.