MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Christopher Mushohwe will this week be grilled by the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Committee over his alleged interference in the operations of the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT).
BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
The committee led by Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF) is currently investigating how CSOTs was being run.
Chief Kiben Bvirindi Zimunya, a trustee of the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust in Marange last month told the committee that some politicians from Manicaland were meddling in the affairs of scheme.
“There has been a lot of political interference by Zanu PF bigwigs on disbursement of funds. Unfortunately, I cannot say their names, but those bigwigs in Mutare want the $50 million to develop the whole province of Manicaland instead of developing Marange area only, and are responsible for holding the release of more funds,” Zimunya said.
He later produced newspaper cuttings implicating Minister of State in the President’s Office Didymus Mutasa, former Zanu PF Manicaland Provincial chairperson Mike Madiro and Mushowe.
The matter has caused a storm in government amid indications that President Robert Mugabe was misled into believing that the $50 million dummy cheque he presented to the community scheme had been funded by diamond miners.
Recently, representatives of five diamond mining companies in Manicaland appeared before the same committee and denied claims that they had pledged to provide $10 million seed capital each towards the community scheme.
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Francis Nhema last week said the companies had made a verbal agreement.
Asked to comment on whether there was any political interference in running the trust, Nhema said: “I think CSOTs by nature are very political as MPs, district administrators, chiefs and others have an interest in what is happening. Yes, there could be political interference here and there.”