President Emmerson Mnangagwa is studying a forensic audit report on Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) amid indications that more than $3 million could have been taken from the fund in suspicious circumstances.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira told NewsDay the report was now with Mnangagwa and action will be taken after his approval.
“A lot of issues were raised and recommendations made, but at the moment, I cannot divulge as to what will be done to anyone until the President has finished studying the report and given directions. This is a forensic audit and by its nature, it makes recommendations,” Murwira said.
The audit was undertaken amid suspicion that former Higher and Education minister Jonathan Moyo had abused the fund for personnel gain.
In the run up to the audit in December, Murwira sent six top managers at Zimdef on forced leave to allow the probe to go on without challenges.
The managers include chief executive officer Fredrick Mandizvidza, principal finance director and administrator Nicholas Mapute; human resources manager Ignatius Kanjengo; chief accountant Ropafadzo Mukamba and senior revenue manager, James Gombarago.
Moyo, currently in self-imposed exile and his former deputy, Godfrey Gandawa were accused of siphoning over $400 000 from Zimdef.
Zimdef funds are meant to support students at tertiary institutions.
At one point, Gandawa allegedly bought personal furniture using Zimdef funds, while Moyo confirmed buying bicycles for his then Tsholotsho North constituency. The Zanu PF youth league then led by Kudzanai Chipanga was also a big beneficiary of Zimdef funds.
Information at hand also suggested that auditors unearthed questionable procurement of some properties by Zimdef.
It was alleged that the parastatal purchased Pandhari Lodge for $2,2 million after outbidding other potential buyers, and also bought another property along Tongogara Street in Harare for over $2 million.
The auditors were also reportedly interested in knowing how Zimdef monies were spent on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme.
“In 2016, ZITF related gobbled $1 million compared to $22 000 in 2015 and these are some of the documents that were requested by the auditors,” a preliminary report read.
It is also believed that managers were allegedly getting 460 litres of fuel per month, $2 500 school fees per child with a maximum of three children being covered, $300 telephone allowances and $120 airtime per month.