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Mnangagwa ally in motorbikes scandal

A Zanu PF MP is allegedly holding on to 10 motorbikes that belong to the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) under unclear circumstances.

By Everson Mushava

Gokwe-Nembudziya MP, Justice Mayor Wadyajena — a staunch supporter of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa — allegedly took the bikes meant for Cottco’s farming mobilisation programme with tacit approval from the firm’s management.

Documents seen by The Standard show that Wadyajena took the first batch of five bikes at Gokwe Centre on August 24 this year and another five were delivered to him in Harare on August 29.

The first five bikes were supposed to be sent to Nembudziya for Cottco’s cotton mobilisation programme but are reportedly yet to be delivered.

After the delivery of the first batch, Wadyajena allegedly called the then Cottco managing director Christopher Murove complaining that he was unhappy because he had been given old bikes.

Murove responded immediately by ordering the dispatch of five more bikes to Wadyajena, which were delivered to him in Harare. According to a goods destination voucher delivery note seen by this paper, Wadyajena was supposed to return the first five bikes, but indicated he was no longer going to give them back to Cottco.

When asked for comment, Wadyajena denied that he took the bikes, but Pius Manamike the acting managing director confirmed the consignment was sent to the MP.

However, when he was quizzed further about the deal, Manamike tried to backtrack, contradicting his own statement that he had sent through WhatsApp. Wadyajena also denied allegations he was holding on to the bikes.

“Here are the so-called bikes I refused to take,” the MP said. “Point of correction, I never took any bike or anything.

“Cottco, a private company, made arrangements to give, I think, opinion leaders in my constituency some bikes of which they asked if I could deliver.

“I thanked them and politely declined to take those broken down [and] condemned motorbikes [which were] beyond repair.

“Actually, I would have shot myself in the foot had I accepted the offer.”

Manamike confirmed the bikes were with Wadyajena, but later changed his statement.

“This is consistent with what I have been told,” he said as he backtracked.

“I am told the bikes are still at the point where they were delivered because the Honourable wanted to get them repaired first but that has not happened because he doesn’t have the money to repair them.”

Initially, Murove said Wadyajena took the bikes to repair them before claiming that the legislator had not taken delivery of the consignment.

“No further comments comrade,” he said as he evaded further questions.

“I am pretty sure Cottco management can clear up any contradictions that may be there regarding what was collected and subsequently returned.

“Furthermore, I do not see anything that I will be sucked into as this was a programme meant to capacitate the community in a cotton mobilisation programme using old and excess to requirements motorbikes.

“Yes, I approved five to be released. I do not know where another five are coming from.

“The five I released were rejected by the Honourable due to [their] poor state because they were non-runners.

“Incidentally, one additional bike was also released by management to Chiherenge Chakanyuka, which I believe is being utilised right now for the same purpose. That was the essence of the programme.”

But Murove could not explain why the 10 bikes meant for the mobilisation programme were given to the MP and why Cottco would want Wadyajena to repair the bikes when it has its own garages.

Wadyajena is one of the few Zanu PF MPs who have been vocal, calling for Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s arrest on allegations that he abused $450 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.

It has since emerged that Moyo used some of the money to buy tri-cycles for traditional leaders in his Tsholotsho North constituency.

Moyo claims Mnangagwa is behind the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission’s bid to arrest him to settle political scores in the battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

The minister argues that some Zanu PF officials who have used State institutions to oil the ruling party have not been prosecuted, making his case tribal.

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