Parastatals reduced to Zanu-PF soup kitchens

Posted by Ben Hadley on 2018-03-14 08:49:00 | Views: 4 |

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Parastatals reduced to Zanu-PF soup kitchens

The acting general manager (GM) at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) revealed on Monday that the parastatal was pressured to dish out money to the ruling party, in what constitutes fresh evidence of the conflation between Zanu-PF and the State.

Giving oral evidence on the report by Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri, MMCZ acting GM Masimba Chandavengerwa told Parliament's Public Accounts Committee that pressure was brought to bear on management to release part of the unaccounted for $2,7 million to Zanu-PF. According to the report, the MMCZ spent $2 989 913 on corporate social responsibility, against the approved budget of $250 000.

History is replete with similar cases.

In 2015, when Allied Timbers Zimbabwe crossed swords with its then chief executive officer Joseph Kanyekanye, it was also revealed that the parastatal was forced to donate $20 000 towards the Zanu-PF congress held the previous year.

It was also reported that the $20 000 donation did not reach its intended destination.

In 2016, former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo became the subject of corruption investigations after he was alleged to have abused funds belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. The State claims that $400 000 which was supposed to be for students at tertiary institutions, was diverted by Moyo to fund Zanu-PF projects and purchasing bicycles for traditional leaders in his then Tsholotsho constituency.

What is saddening is that this is now Zanu-PF's preferred modus operandi in funding its activities.

Whenever, the party needs money, it commandeers its bureaucrats in government to take their begging bowls to State-owned enterprises (SOEs) under their portfolios for funding.

Part of the money raised from milking these SOEs goes into the pockets of these bureaucrats.

Government has nearly 100 SOEs, the bulk of which are haemorrhaging because of State-sanctioned interference, poor corporate governance practices, outright thefts and mismanagement.

The bulk of these SOEs are entirely dependent on government bailouts made from the fiscus, which is funded by the struggling taxpayer.

Almost every year, the AG produces reports documenting the rot in these SOEs, which have largely been ignored by government due to its complicit in their failings. But despite their pathetic performance, executives in these SOEs never miss an opportunity to donate to Zanu-PF because anything to the contrary can easily cost them jobs.

They are also the first to buy advertising space to congratulate their bosses on their birthdays, graduation, and some such stupid events.

Under the new dispensation, Zanu-PF cannot reduce these parastatals into its soup kitchens and still hope to get away with it at the polls.

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