Mugabe squeezes diamond firms over bash


ZANU PF Manicaland’s 21st Movement fundraising committee has taken its begging bowl to struggling diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa to bankroll President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday bash in Masvingo at the end of this month.


The party youths responsible for organising the event have set themselves an ambitious target to raise $800 000 for the annual jamboree.

For the past few years, diamond mining firms have been the major funders of Zanu PF’s private functions, despite their shrinking purses.

MUGABE President Robert Mugabe

Leader of the fundraising committee in the province, Taurai Chiripamberi, said they were targeting various stakeholders in the province.

“We are targeting various stakeholders. District administrators are facilitating us to meet various stakeholders so that we map the way forward, because we are going to host a fundraising dinner on the 20th of this month,’’ Chiripamberi said.

A close source said most companies have indicated that they were in a financial squeeze and could not fund the event this year.

“Companies are struggling, but we are now targeting diamond firms. Some of our members visited the diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa, as we are trying meet our target,” a Zanu PF Youth League insider said.

“The members visited all the diamond mining companies and they indicated that they are struggling. We have arranged a dinner, where we will be selling tables to raise the required funds.”

The dinner will be held on February 20 at a local hotel where a diamond table will be going for $20 000, while a gold table was valued at $10 000 and a silver table would cost $5 000.

The silver tables will be the cheapest and would sell for $1 000 and individuals will have to part way with $100.

But MDC-T Manicaland provincial spokesperson Trevor Saruwaka said that the governing party’s priority was misplaced.

“This is more evidence that our rulers’ priorities are misplaced. Companies in Zimbabwe generally, in Manicaland specifically, have shut down and the remaining few are closing shop because of disastrous policies,” he said.

“The reality today is that companies are struggling to pay their workers and most of them are in arrears.

“Instead of raising money for the bash from diamond mining companies, they should be appealing to the diamond companies to feed starving people in the province.”