The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) donated $2,9 million to Zanu PF, Parliament heard yesterday, showing the ruling party’s appetite to seek assistance from State-owned entities.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
MMCZ acting general manager, Masimba Chandavengerwa told the Parliamentary Public Accounts portfolio committee that the donation was above the $250 000 budget.
He was giving oral evidence on the 2016 audit findings by the Auditor General on the company’s accounts.
Legislator Godfrey Sithole asked if out of the $2,9 million, the company has made donations to any political party.
“Yes, you will see on the list, there were Zanu PF functions on some of the donations,” Chandavengerwa said.
Quizzed whether the company made any other donations to any other political party in Zimbabwe apart from Zanu PF, Chandavengerwa said “like I said, only to Zanu PF”.
Sithole further asked if the company was arm twisted into doling out the donations to which the MMCZ boss said the company acted on instruction.
“I wouldn’t say that. We were instructed. We receive instructions that may you donate something to this function and we acted accordingly,” Chandavengerwa said.
Section 21 of the Minerals and Marketing Corporation Act (Chapter 21:04) provides that the corporation shall provide financial assistance to any institution or person whose activities or part of whose activities are such as to be, in the opinion of the board, of benefit to the corporation or to the mining industry or any part of that industry.
The MMCZ boss said other donations were made to the Mines ministry and the Mining Promotion Corporation.
“Chairman, these donations are donations that were donated to the shareholder the ministry of Mines in particular and we have communication with the Mining Promotion Corporation, which is again a government company for exploration directing that we release those funds for operations of that institution. The question that you pose on why we would go above the budget; it’s one of those situations, honourable members, whereby, you find yourself in (sic). The money is there and the need has been highlighted by the shareholder and you ended up donating,” he said.
MMCZ finance director, Arthur Gwarimbo told the committee that some of the money used for donations was taken from key projects such as the construction of laboratories and weigh bridges.
The committee then asked the MMCZ to submit to Parliament, at a later date the list of donations beneficiaries and amounts.
Chandavengerwa said the new board cut the fuel allowances after the 2016 AG’s audit revealed that management allocated themselves 51 120 litres, which was not processed through the payroll system.