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The surprise popularity of exiled cleric, Evan Mawarire and his #ThisFlag movement rattled Zanu PF, which tried to counter the new wave of anti-government protests using money sourced from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), NewsDay has established.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Documents pertaining to the ongoing corruption probe of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, and other ministry staffers allegedly show how Zanu PF abuses State resources.
According to a statement allegedly made by Gandawa to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on August 3, 2015, an under-pressure Zanu PF had to use funds from Zimdef to counter the protest.
“As part of skills development for youth, we supported the youth mobilisation programme leading to the million-man march,” he told the commission.
“This included comprehensive multimedia support in all newspapers, TV and radio stations. These included: design messages, supply media facilities, video filming and editing, live streaming of event, logistics for participants and designed #OurFlag and purchased the flags to counter Evan Mawarire’s #This Flag campaign.”
Mawarire launched #ThisFlag movement to force the government to tackle the economic crisis bedevilling the country.
His movement organised a massive national shutdown on July 6, which left Zanu PF and government shell-shocked, as 90% of businesses and State institutions heeded the call.
Moyo and Gandawa are accused of abusing over $400 000 of Zimdef funds, with documents leaked by investigators and government sources stating that part of the money was used to fund Zanu PF projects.
By yesterday, senior government officials and intelligence sources claimed Zacc was preparing to lodge a complaint with Mugabe over the leaked letters and other documents, accusing Moyo and his associates of leaking the documents that have left the party’s funding mechanism exposed.
Moyo, on the other hand, on his Twitter account, accused Zacc of leaking the documents.
The leaked documents show a nasty fallout between Gandawa’s relative and former chief executive officer at his private company — Fuzzy Technologies — Walter Charasa, which was the genesis of the problems at the Higher Education ministry.
In his affidavit to Zacc on July 29, 2016, Chasara said Gandawa invited him to bid for the supply of printers to Zimdef.
“I do recall that Fuzzy Technologies was formed in April 2015 with its directors being the accused person (Gandawa) and his daughter. I got to know about this company when I was a director of Wisebone Trading and my company was invited by Gandawa to his offices to do business with his ministry and his company,” Chasara stated in the affidavit.
“At this meeting, the first accused person (Gandawa) supplied me with detailed specifications and the pricing structure and figures for the supply of printers to the ministry. My company (Wisebone) did not have any printers, but the first accused (Gandawa) said he was the one who would source the printers on our behalf.”
According to the affidavit, Chasara’s firm received $95 800 from Zimdef for the supply of printers, but the money, according to the documents, was allegedly siphoned from the firm by the deputy minister in bits and pieces. Chasara alleged Gandawa later told him to keep $25 000 as commission for the deal.
In his response to the allegations, Gandawa said the money was used to procure 65 computers donated by First Lady Grace Mugabe at her Rushinga rally.
“You are aware that we further asked to provide cash to the (Zanu PF) women’s league for other logistics and I gave $20 000 to (MP) Sarah Mahoka and minister (Eunice) Sandi-Moyo in minister (Saviour) Kasukuwere’s office. We further provided transport and fuel for youths and the hosting province to the tune of $13 500,” Gandawa said in his answering affidavit.
The deputy minister justified his actions, saying it was because the projects that were being funded by Zimdef, through Fuzzy Technologies, were sensitive and urgent.