Mugabe blows $20m on rallies

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe (pictured) has reportedly blown an estimated $20 million in hosting the eight Zanu PF youth interface rallies he has held to date, with the bulk of the money commandeered from State coffers, as he drums up support for his candidature ahead of next year’s crunch polls, NewsDay has learnt.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA/XOLISANI NCUBE

It has also emerged that the First Family’s business empire, Gushungo Dairies, is cashing in on the rallies, having pocketed $120 000 so far through the provision of its ice-cream and other milk products, which were later disguised as donations and given out to party supporters.

The ice-cream was reportedly paid for by provincial youth leagues and “donated” to party supporters and top officials by First Lady Grace Mugabe at the rallies.

At a time the government was struggling to meet its wage bill and was overborrowed by $5 billion on the domestic market, NewsDay understands ministries and parastatals were emptying their coffers to massage the First Family’s campaign trails ahead of next year’s elections.

Zanu PF sources said the ruling party was spending an average of $2,5 million to host each of the rallies.

“The total cost of each rally can only be estimated because we have not sat down to calculate the actual cost, but the cost is huge. It involves fuel for bussing supporters from across the country, hiring of tents, the public address system, accommodation and allowances for President Mugabe’s advance team and the organising teams. I can put the cost at $2,5 million,” a source said.

But Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo scoffed at the claims, saying the party was digging from its resource base to fund the campaign rallies.

“Get me the proof that we are using State resources and I will answer that question. I cannot answer questions on allegations without proof,” he said.

Zanu PF youth league treasurer Tongai Kasukuwere could not provide the figures, but said the rallies were being funded by Zanu PF.

“These rallies are in our party budget and funding comes from the party,” he said.

“I can’t tell you the figure, but all I can say is that from the national leadership, we mainly focus on the President and the VIP tent which we pay for.

“The provincial team has the duty to mobilise for transport and other logistics.

“So you can’t really quantify how much we put in because it’s an issue of contribution mainly again in kind.”

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, however, dismissed Kasukuwere’s assertions, saying he was aware that Zanu PF had no money to fund the interface rallies and was busy abusing State resources.

“We know that Zanu PF is broke, I know it because I sit in a forum with the secretary-general of Zanu PF (secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo). They are broke, probably more broke than the MDC as a party, but they are not shy to abuse State resources and Mugabe is abusing State resources, his ministers are abusing State resources, they get transport and allowances from State resources in order to attend these interface rallies. It is unfair, unjust and unconscionable,” he said.

Mwonzora called on Mugabe to use the resources to bail out troubled companies so that he could stimulate economic growth instead of abusing taxpayers’ money to fund his rallies.

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said: “It’s a gross abuse of national resources, which borders on criminality for one to hold factional meetings, where his wife uses access to the national broadcaster to act like a Nigerian movie actress by insulting people.

“The country does not benefit, his party does not benefit and yet they spend all that money when millions of Zimbabweans have no access to medication, cash and jobs are drying.”

Highly-placed sources said for the Midlands rally only, a total of 100 000 litres of fuel was used amounting to $130 000. This excluded the cost of the vehicles, which were commandeered from schools and private business players.

Ice-cream worth $15 000 was bought from Alpha and Omega Dairy, while flying Mugabe by one helicopter to rallies costs the government nearly $2 000 an hour.

Mugabe, his deputies and service chiefs were normally flown to the rallies in three State helicopters. The party also hires the main stage for $20 000, and the cost of hiring the ZBC outside broadcasting van was at least
$100 000 per day.

Senior government officials, heads of parastatals and their public relations teams were forced to attend the rallies after drawing huge allowances to fund for their fuel and accommodation at an enormous cost.

In 2016, Mugabe blew $2 million during a two-hour indaba he held with 10 000 war veterans at the City Sports Centre in Harare.

The Zanu PF leader is currently attending a United Nations summit in New York, where he will reportedly blow over $10 million in allowances and expenses for his entourage of about 70 aides.

9 Comments

  1. This is why we must financially suffocate this mad person. We need to suffocate ZPF govt financially through Operation Suffocate. We hold the power which is why in 2008 when they were giving us used toilet paper to use as money we said no we want real money US$. The army is what keeps them in power. The army police c-tens are paid using taxes. Let us now starve this ZPF monster of money. 1 Do not bank your money in banks. 2 Where you are supposed to pay a fine eg traffic ticket negotiate with the policeman or woman and pay him her a bribe instead. Fines collected by the police go to police chefs. 3 Do not pay tax. If you cannot avoid doing so negotiate with person you are dealing with to pay a small fraction and give the person something. 4 People working in revenue collection for ZPF govt need to cooperate. If not paid the soldiers will revolt. The UN will then be forced to do something. ZPF brought corruption. Let’s use it to kick them out. When they are out we will have to stop corruption if we are to build a proper nation.

  2. Vusumuzi wako Mange

    If this is all true then it is shocking to say the least; a party cum government gone errant.

  3. you see that is were and how we miss the ball..there is nothing shocking about that figure.
    we need to first understand what it means to be the “ruling party”… whether its ANC,ZANU,MDC, PATRIOTIC FRONT (zambia)..The ruling party anywere across the globe controls all state institutions. the ruling party has a prerogative to the nation to achieve its goals and policies.. it follows therefore that all resources controlled by a ruling party will always be diverted to the best interests of the ruling party.. The ruling party in Zimbabwe is ZANU Pf. Did you want zanu to divert money towards camapaigns for the MDC? Do you think if MDC were the ruling party they would use money from their pockets to funds campaigns? Certainly Not!. Lets be very realistic.. hapana chinoshamisa.

    1. You are dropping the ball sir. We have become so used to the party and state being conflated that this way of doing things is “normal”. Like kujairira nhamo wotanga kufunga kuti kudya mafufu is normal. No! That is why someone is buying a 300k car with YOUR money that you would have paid as taxes but tinotomusekerera tichimuti he is successful. The solution is simple: When a public official is on state business tax payer picks up the tab. If on party business – party pays. If on personal business he/she should pay for himself. There was once an article on how the First Lady of America, Michelle Obama, was doing a tour on government business she decided to go with a relative on the plane. She paid for all costs related to the relative out of her own pocket. Now America is far richer than us but they seem to be more sensible with their money than isu tiri kutadza kubhadhara maCivil Servants on time. MADNESS!

      1. i agree with you there jackie chan.. that is why i said we need to push for accountability.. we can never run away from the fact tht a minister will need a car.. but which car and how many cars? and after how long? those are the questions that mdc needs to be addressing in parliament.. but the truth is they dont address these problems because varikutoda kudyawo.. iye MP we MDC arikutodawo mota 4 sewe Zanu..
        on the expenditure part, that is well said and that is were accountability and transparency yandataura comes in.. if all things are known, then minister will not and cannot sit on 15 boards..
        on the issue yaMichelle very true, but i dont normally allow myself to be misled especially with such articles, if you drill down ownership or beneficifiaries of those payments, you will find kuti, muridzi wendege iyoyo, mutop face wePerm sec yaObama or owns other companies related to the obamas.. there is no such thing as a free meal.. What America and all first world countries know, is that all eyes are on them, so they design systems tht ensure separation, zvoita sekunge iye abhadhara mari ega, when is all a lie..

  4. so there is politics and the economy.. right now our economy is in shambles.. what we as a nation need to do..is separate economics and politics (however impossible).. we need to push for accountability and transparency at each stage.. it is because of “HOVE MUTEYA HUKU”that corruption will always persist.. we believe in evading problems.. taking the shortcuts..there should be no need to pay fines.. ‘Do not be caught on the wrong side of the LAw-simple” iwe unoda kukukiya-kiya WHY?? if you start a business, dont evade tax. starting a business means you knows and have capacity to pay income ta, value added tax, paye, nssa and all other benefits expected to be paid..you do your part.. but push for accountability and transparency.. do not pay fines kana pasina mhosva, tobatana kucourt simple.

  5. Vusumuzi wako Mange

    Big Dave, why then is S K MOYO at pains to outrightly deny it if all was right to gobble public funds on party business?

  6. There is no accountability or transparency when dealing with terrorists Big Dave. And the biggest terrorist is on his way to establishing a monarchy. Denying them revenue is the way to go.

  7. Am not saying its correct..but am saying its a known secret. Chihure chababa mumb.. u know some/most me will sleep out, but they’ll never admit it.. and there is no justification.. but its always going to happen.. musha haungafi nekuti baba vahura.. so my point is spending 20million will not kill the economy.. however emphasis should be on other things.. for example: we cannot have a leader for 39 yrs munhu 1.. ngapapinde umwe who ever it is.. chero akashandisa 25mil to campaign but takuda umwe.. takuda accountability.. yekuti apinda iyeye azive kuti ane 5 yrs to change things, chero ari weZanu..

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