CONSTRUCTION of Tsholotsho Stadium, which was mooted in 2015 during the era of Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo, has stalled amid reports of massive looting of funds raised for the project.
BY SILAS NKALA
Southern Eye has also learnt that the money raised through the slaughter of 66 elephants was also diverted.
The project had an estimated cost of $2 million, but was reportedly pegged at $4,5m by JR Goddard Construction Company.
Moyo, at the time, described the cost projected by contractor as scandalous, claiming his calculation pegged it at $500 000.
Moyo had wanted the stadium — modelled along the same lines as Mandava — to be completed by mid-July 2015, but work was stalled by the challenges faced by the Local Government ministry in coming up with plans.
Stakeholders and concerned citizens in Tsholotsho have raised alarm bells over the project .
“A Tsholotsho Rural District Council source says the money meant for the project was diverted by top officials. The project’s construction was supposed to be implemented through funds raised from the sale of elephants, but to date nothing is happening at the site,” a Tsholotsho resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
The resident said there were some activities that took place when Moyo was still in government, which gave stakeholders hope that the project would be successful.
Tsholotsho District Development Association chairperson Headman Tshaka wrote to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on January 6 last year, accusing Tsholotsho Rural District Council chief executive officer Themba Moyo and the former Higher and Tertiary Education minister of abusing funds mobilised for construction of the stadium.
“There is a case of football team, Tsholotsho Pirates, which is alleged to have been owned by a local businessman Manyathela, but was allegedly taken over by council, where we saw activities of new football grounds being prepared by a team allegedly headed by Jonathan Moyo. It is alleged this committee was tasked with building a stadium at Tsholotsho and 60 elephants were sold to raise funds in preparing this football ground,” the letter to Zacc read.
“As things stand and now, things have gone quiet the money raised through elephants sales has allegedly gone missing (sic). Does Ministry of Environment know anything about this?”
Tshaka wrote that there were allegations that the team responsible for the football project shared the money and bought mine stamp mills and were panning gold panners in Filabusi.
“Those issues need investigation and the culprits, if proven to have misused the funds, must all be accounted for and the funds must be returned,” the letter further read.
On Wednesday, Zacc investigations boss Commissioner Goodson Nguni told Southern Eye that his team was investigating the issue.
“The last time I checked, the matter was being investigated and I am interested in knowing more about it,” he said.
Tsholotsho district administrator Gladys Zizhou said she was in a meeting and could not be drawn to comment on the matter.
Tsholotsho CEO Moyo also refused to comment.