A STORM is brewing in Zanu PF after a tonne of sugar meant for President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday celebrations went missing last month.
Zanu PF deputy national youth secretary Edson Chakanyuka was fingered in the scandal that has angered party youths in Manicaland.
Some youths told our sister paper NewsDay yesterday that the sugar went missing before it was presented to Mugabe at the party headquarters in Harare.
Mugabe celebrated his 90th birthday on February 21 with the main celebrations being held in Marondera, Mashonaland East province.
“Almost one tonne of sugar that was donated as a birthday present to President Mugabe went missing at the party headquarters in Harare,” said an impeccable source.
“Reports allege that Chakanyuka was involved and other senior members in the youth league. The senior members were seen by guards at the party headquarters loading the loot.
“Some executive members want the matter to be treated as a criminal offence and they want it to be handed over to police.
“However, others prefer it to be dealt with within and they are pushing the secretary for youth affairs (Absolom Sikhosana) to institute investigations.”
Chakanyuka confirmed receiving reports of the missing sugar, but distanced himself from the theft.
“That is a lie. I never stole anything,” he said.
“I was the overseer of several departments and I gave some keys to those who were responsible for the safekeeping of the sugar.
“When I learnt that there was missing sugar, though I cannot tell the quantity, I told my boss (Sikhosana) about it.”
“I later heard that there are some other executive members who were saying I was involved in the theft. It’s the work of some people who want my position.
“They just want to tarnish my name so that they take my position when we go for our national executive elections.”
Mugabe’s 21st February birthday celebrations have always been marred by controversy.
The 2012 festivities saw the arrest of former Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro and his deputy Dorothy Mabika over charges of stealing cattle meant for the Zanu PF leader’s birthday bash.
However, the two were acquitted of the charges due to lack of evidence.