Perm Sec re­futes Zimdef fuel do­na­tion claims

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

THE Sec­re­tary for Youth De­vel­op­ment, Indi­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment, Mr Ge­orge Magosvonge yes­ter­day said he was not aware of the 100 000 litres of fuel do­nated to the Zim­babwe Youth Coun­cil by Zim­babwe Man­power De­vel­op­ment Fund (Zimdef).

Giv­ing oral ev­i­dence be­fore the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Youth, Indi­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment chaired by Gok­weNem­budziya MP Cde Jus­tice Mayor Wadya­jena (Zanu-PF), Mr Magosvonge said de­spite him be­ing the ac­count­ing of­fi­cer of the min­istry, he was not made aware of such a do­na­tion.

Mr Magosvonge’s re­marks come as it also emerged that Par­lia­ment has re­jected an at­tempt by the ZYC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Mr Liv­ing­stone Dzikira to have Cde Wadya­jena re­cuse him­self from the in­quiry ar­gu­ing that he was a mem­ber of Zanu-PF Youth League, the sup­posed ben­e­fi­ciary of the fuel.

Mr Dzikira now risks be­ing charged with con­tempt of Par­lia­ment for fail­ing to at­tend Par­lia­ment to give ev­i­dence.

In yes­ter­day’s hear­ing, Mr Magosvonge said while ZYC was a semi-au­ton­o­mous body, it was sup­posed to ap­prise him of any do­na­tions and ac­count for it.

“We have an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor ap­pointed in terms of the ZYC Act. That ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor is a sub-ac­count­ing of­fi­cer at their level and be­cause he is sub-ac­count­ing of­fi­cer, it means I am an ac­count­ing of­fi­cer of ZYC and to that ex­tent, when they un­der­take their pro­grammes they are sup­posed to ad­vise us,” said Mr Magosvonge while field­ing a bar­rage of ques­tions from Cde Wadya­jena.

Asked if he was aware of any do­na­tion made, Mr Magosvonge said: “To the ex­tent that a dis­clo­sure has been made, I will be aware. They are sup­posed to ac­count for the re­sources that are at their dis­posal. If they get fund­ing, they are sup­posed to dis­close how they would have used it. At the end of the day, I am the ac­count­ing of­fi­cer. If they re­ceive any other do­na­tion I ex­pect it to be ac­counted for.”

“Un­der my ten­ure, I am not aware of any do­na­tion that might have come from Zimdef. I might have to check with my col­leagues.”

Asked if Zimdef had made do­na­tions to other en­ti­ties like vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­tres, Mr Magosvonge said: “Not on my record, sir.”

Mean­while, Par­lia­ment has re­jected a bid by Mr Dzikira to have Cde Wadya­jena re­cuse him­self from chair­ing the com­mit­tee to en­quire into how the fuel was utilised.

“There is no le­gal ba­sis for re­quest­ing Hon Wadya­jena to be re­cused from pre­sid­ing over the in­quiry by the Com­mit­tee. He is chair­ing the meet­ing in his ca­pac­ity as the chair­per­son of a port­fo­lio com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment which is con­sti­tu­tion­ally-man­dated to ex­er­cise over­sight over the Ex­ec­u­tive, in par­tic­u­lar the Min­istry of Youth and all bod­ies that fall un­der it. He is ex­er­cis­ing his role in terms of Sec­tion 119 of the Con­sti­tu­tion and not as a mem­ber of the Zanu-PF Youth League,” wrote coun­sel to Par­lia­ment, Ms Gla­dys Pise in an ad­vi­sory opin­ion to Clerk of Par­lia­ment Mr Kennedy Chokuda.

In his let­ter, Mr Dzikira wrote: “We kindly re­quest that the chair­per­son of this Com­mit­tee be re­cused from pre­sid­ing over this meet­ing as we feel that he is an in­ter­ested party and is con­flicted. This re­quest comes after the re­al­i­sa­tion that among items to be dis­cussed on the agenda, is the sub­mis­sion of a de­tailed re­port on the 100 000 litres of fuel that the Youth Coun­cil re­ceived from Zimdef on be­half of Zanu-PF Youth League. It is to this end that we seek the re­cusal of Hon Wadya­jena as he is a mem­ber of Zanu-PF Youth League which re­ceived this fuel. We are of the opin­ion that the Chair might be con­flicted on this mat­ter.”

The call­ing of ZYC is ex­pected to cul­mi­nate in the in­vi­ta­tion of Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Science and Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr God­frey Gan­dawa who al­legedly si­phoned about $450 000 from Zimdef.

The Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion has also in­di­cated that the 100 000 litres of fuel re­ported to have been chan­nelled to­wards Zanu-PF Youth might not have reached its in­tended des­ti­na­tion as it could have found its way into the black mar­ket.

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