Prof Moyo re­sponds on Zimdef funds graft ‘Re­served the right to de­ter­mine which pro­grammes to sup­port’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Zva­maida Mur­wira Harare Bureau

HIGHER and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Science and Tech­nol­ogy Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo yes­ter­day said the $450 000 that he al­legedly si­phoned from the Zim­babwe Man­power Devel­op­ment Fund (Zimdef) was a drop in the ocean as it con­sti­tuted 1,8 per­cent of the $24 mil­lion that he dis­trib­uted for devel­op­ment of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and mod­erni­sa­tion at var­i­ous ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.

He said this while of­fi­ci­at­ing at a graduation cer­e­mony at Madziva Teach­ers’ Col­lege where 275 teach­ers were be­ing con­ferred with diplo­mas.

He said $20,3 mil­lion had been dis­trib­uted to all ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions in the country while with an ad­di­tional $4,5 mil­lion go­ing to pro­mot­ing Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics.

“In 2016, Zimdef sup­port to th­ese in­sti­tu­tions is $20,315 515. If the $4,5 mil­lion for 2016 A-Level stu­dents is added, the to­tal Zimdef sup­port to our in­sti­tu­tions this year is $24, 815, 515. There is none of our in­sti­tu­tions that is not a re­cip­i­ent of Zimdef fund. Let us be gen­er­ous and say muri kuti (you are al­leg­ing) $450 000 (was abused), this $450 000, which is dis­puted, is only 1,8 per­cent of Zimdef 2016 Fund. Only 1,8 per­cent of the fund has gone to­wards what you would call cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. Ha­mudi izvozvo (You don’t want that). Which of the or­gan­i­sa­tions that is as sig­nif­i­cant as this one does not have cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity at this low fig­ure?” said Prof Moyo.

“One would have to be a ter­ri­ble mal­con­tent or an in­cor­ri­gi­ble mis­fit of so­ci­ety not to un­der­stand the pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tions of Zimdef’s sup­port for the 2016 A-Level STEM ini­tia­tive be­cause un­der that ini­tia­tive, 5 132 stu­dents in all the country’s prov­inces have been sup­ported. ”

Prof Moyo said Zimdef’s fund­ing of the 21st Fe­bru­ary Move­ment, One Mil­lion Man March and Zim­babwe Youth Coun­cil were na­tional pro­grammes that con­sti­tuted cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity which, as a trus­tee he re­served the right to de­ter­mine.

He said all his pre­de­ces­sors had ex­er­cised their le­gal right and pol­icy man­date to de­ter­mine which pro­grammes to sup­port.

“The dif­fer­ence is that the pre­de­ces­sors were do­ing it qui­etly and clan­des­tinely and we have done it too pub­licly in broad day­light with the me­dia and ev­ery­body and then they say aaahh, ko mab­hasikoro aya ab­vakupi? (some of the money was used to buy bi­cy­cles). Vamwe vain­goita vachinopa zv­inhu (Some were do­ing it qui­etly), some of the things that have been built are not even work­ing. His­tory will record that some des­per­ate po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests have sought to treat as un­usual, il­le­gal and cor­rupt the public pro­grammes that I have sup­ported as an ex­pres­sion of my pol­icy man­date and le­gal dis­cre­tion in my ca­pac­ity as Zimdef Trus­tee,” said Prof Moyo.

“It is one thing for peo­ple to dis­agree with th­ese choices or not to like my choices but quite an­other for them to la­bel the choices un­usual, il­le­gal or cor­rupt sim­ply be­cause they do not like them or do not fit with their po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est. That I can­not ac­cept. In fact, that should not be ac­cept­able in a nor­mal func­tion­ing so­ci­ety. And as far I am con­cerned, we will ob­ject in the strong­est pos­si­ble terms and we will fight to the end and log­i­cal con­clu­sion be­cause it is about peo­ple quar­relling with other peo­ple’s dis­charge of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“Our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as Zimdef Trustees are given not by our­selves, not from my pre­de­ces­sors. They are given by our ap­point­ing author­ity. Saka kana mune nyaya, siyanai neni (So leave me alone). I did not ap­point my­self. I have an ap­point­ing author­ity and am ac­count­able to that author­ity and I un­der­stand the bound­aries and pa­ram­e­ters of the poli­cies and the law.”

Prof Moyo said Zimdef was nei­ther a stu­dent fund, schol­ar­ship or cadet­ship but its pur­pose was to re­search, plan, de­velop and train hu­man cap­i­tal or skills needed by the country’s econ­omy.

“Those who are abus­ing the public me­dia to present Zimdef as a stu­dent fund or a schol­ar­ship are not only mis­chievous in their mis­taken con­clu­sion or ig­no­rance but what they are say­ing in pre­sent­ing Zimdef as a stu­dent fund is a mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion which, if not han­dled prop­erly, can end up as a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity in so far as it is be­ing used to in­cite stu­dents to or­gan­ise demon­stra­tions be­liev­ing that Zimdef is a schol­ar­ship fund,” said Prof Moyo.

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