Nyore Madzianike and Ray Bande Senior Reporters
A STORM is brewing in Zanu-PF Manicaland amid allegations that financial and material donations raised to finance President Mnangagwa’s visit to Manicaland ahead of the July 30 elections and later Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri’s celebrations following her appointment as the party’s national chairman vanished without trace.
The theft of funds was exposed by Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri last Saturday when she lashed at those suspected to have converted the money to their own use while addressing party supporters who had gathered at Mutasa District Council grounds to celebrate her appointment as national chairman and Minister of Defence and War Veterans.
Several senior Zanu-PF officials in Manicaland have also confirmed the theft of the funds.
“I thought the (fundraised) money for these celebrations would be used here but was surprised to hear that it (money) has disappeared. I heard that the money was stolen. The people from Mutasa were not disheartened, but sourced their own resources and here we are. I only asked myself if we really need such bad apples within the party at this stage,” said Min Muchinguri-Kashiri.
While Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri bemoaned the looting of the party funds, she hailed the losing Zanu-PF candidates for Mutasa Central and Mutasa South Cdes Jefter Sakupwanya and Misheck Mugadza, respectively, for making Saturday’s event a success.
About $32 000 was raised for Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri’s celebrations while a yet undisclosed amount had been raised for President Mnangagwa’s visit.
The funds reportedly vanished at Mutasa district administrator’s offices.
Zanu-PF provincial secretary for administration Cde Kenneth Saruchera said: “The money disappeared while it was in a safe at Mutasa DA’s offices and the person suspected to have stolen it could not be located. There were committees that were set up to fund-raise money and they had separate accounts. I am sure the leadership in Mutasa was tasked to raise funds for Saturday’s celebrations and I am sure they can explain how that money disappeared. The other money went missing at Mutasa DA’s offices and a police report was made.” Zanu-PF provincial commissar Cde Gift Kagweda also weighed in: “What I know is that there was money raised to celebrate Cde Muchinguri’s appointment to the position of party chairperson. The celebrations were later postponed and I remember very well that $32 000 was raised in cash and material donations. It was a provincial programme and there was an arrangement to have that money divided into four centres where President and Mai Muchinguri-Kashiri were supposed to visit. I am not sure what happened to that money because there was a committee, which was running the affairs. I think Cde Madiro would be the best person to explain what happened to that money.”
Cde Kagweda also added that President Mnangagwa’s funds vanished at Mutasa DA’s offices.
“The money, which disappeared at Mutasa DA’s offices was different from that raised for Mai Muchinguri-Kashiri’s celebrations. Cde Madiro is also the best person to comment on the fate of that money. It was left at DA’s offices for safe keeping,” he said.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Cde Madiro were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Sources privy to the developments said the money vanished from a safe four months ago.