ZIMPAPERS and the ZBC received $100 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) for advertising the Zanu PF youth league’s million-man-march and a splinter war veterans body’s meeting with President Robert Mugabe in July.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has been threatened with arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), which claims that he and his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, siphoned money from Zimdef for personal use.
Documents show that Zimdef — following instructions from the ministry — used Fuzzy Technologies, a company owned by Gandawa, and AB Communications, owned by Information Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira, to fund Zanu PF activities.
Zimdef, whose mandate is to fund human capital development, found itself financing Zanu PF events like the million-man-march, the Mandi Chimene war vets’ meeting with Mugabe and the Zanu PF youth league.
The events were attended by Mugabe, who is fiercely supported by the G40 faction in Zanu PF which is locked in a war of attrition with the Lacoste faction that is linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The government daily, The Herald — a Zanu PF mouthpiece — claimed on its front page on Friday that “no single cent of money allegedly siphoned from Zimdef by Moyo and Gandawa went to Zanu PF.”
But The Standard can reveal that not only did the youth league and war vets benefit, the Zimbabwe Youth Council — which is linked to the Zanu PF youth league — received 100 000 litres of fuel to carry out a “skills gap assessment for out of school youths”.
The Standard has learnt that ahead of the million-man-march and the war vets meeting, AB Communications — on behalf of Zimdef — ran a media campaign in which it placed adverts and jingles on radio, TV and newspapers.
AB Communications invoiced Zimdef for $182 000 for the million-man-march and $79 000 for the war veterans meeting bringing the total to $261 000 for designing the adverts, placement with media organisations, filming, big screens, live streaming and stage set-up.
Of that budget, Zimpapers’ The Herald, The Chronicle and Star FM, as well as zbc’s ZTV, Power FM, SFM, National FM, Radio Zimbabwe took $100 000 while the remaining $161 000 was shared between AB Communications and other media houses.
An industry insider said: “In the media, no-one has benefitted from Zimdef’s non-mandate activities more than Zimpapers and ZBC. But you couldn’t tell that from the noise they’re making.”
Zimdef has become a theatre for the on-going Zanu PF factional battles.