Mugabe donations scandal

THE Zanu PF Youth League in Bulawayo has been caught up in a fresh scandal with the wing’s secretary for indigenisation Davis Mhambi being accused of cheating struggling Bulawayo firms to donate nearly $20 000 towards President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday celebrations.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

This came out during a stormy youth league meeting on Friday to conduct a post-mortem of Mugabe’s birthday as well as to discuss the provincial celebrations.

Zanu PF insiders told Southern Eye yesterday that the $20 000 raised a storm during the meeting.

“During the Friday meeting which lasted several hours, a post-mortem report on the 21st February Movement was presented.

“We heard that about $8 000 was raised from the fundraising activities we had, of which $1 958 was from gate takings at the dinner dance and $6 000 was raised from six tables taken,” said an insider.

“About $2 200 was incurred in expenses. However, we also heard that one company owner refused to make any donations when approached. He (company owner) said he had already contributed through Mhambi as he usually did during the primary elections with T-shirts and caps, so he said he was tired of donating.

“About $20 000 is unaccounted for.”

After the finance report, Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial youth chairperson Khumbulani Mpofu invited questions.

“Members demanded to know from Mhambi, who was in attendance, what happened to the cash of which he was heard saying the $20 000 was nothing to him meaning he had lots of money,” said the insider.

“A verbal confrontation dominated the question session. It was resolved that another meeting would be convened on the matter.

“What angered the comrades most was that Mhambi was virtually unknown in the party.

“He only surfaced in the run-up to December provincial elections where he landed a post.”

Contacted for comment yesterday, Mhambi refused to shed light on the matter.

“I don’t speak about party issues with the Press, thank you,” Mhambi said before hanging up.

Mpofu was not answering his mobile phone yesterday.

Previously, several high-profile party members have been accused of converting funds and gifts meant for Mugabe’s birthday bash for their personal use.

This year, a tonne of sugar is said to have gone missing and politburo member Edison Chakanyuka, who is the deputy secretary for youth, and central committee member Innocent Hamandishe and secretary for indigenisation in the youth league together with two other party officials have been fingered in the scandal.

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