Zimdef sells property for a song
THE controversy-ridden Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) is selling one of its top properties in Harare for $1.7 million understandably to raise capital to fund other projects at a time senior officials in its parent ministry are under probe for alledgedly fleecing the organisation of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa are currently being investigated for allegedly fleecing Zimdef of close to half a million dollars in shady dealings.
Insiders say the fund has cited financial challenges among reasons why it is disposing of Kuwirirana House.
The six storey building, which once belonged to the late Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu in the 1990s, is situated along George Silundika Avenue close to First Street.
Zimdef tasked Knight Frank Estate Agents to sell the prime property on its behalf. Knight Frank has since flighted adverts alerting potential buyers. Kuwirirana House sits on 654 square metres of land, office space is 892 square metres, shop space 362 square metres while building area is 1 254 squares metres. The building consists of six stories, ground floor retail space and an office tower as well as six parking bays.
“The building has reinforced concrete structure with brick infill walls. The building offers a good return on investment and is located along George Silundika Avenue in the heart of the CBD and enjoys huge pedestrian traffic,” said Knight Frank in an advertorial.
No one at Zimdef was prepared to talk to our Harare Bureau yesterday over the matter.
Zimdef chief executive officer Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza said that he was in a meeting and promised to call back. He never did.
Zimdef chief accountant Mrs Ropafadzo Mukamba refused to comment as well referring our Harare Bureau to Zimdef estate department. Efforts to get a comment from that department were fruitless. Sources, however, insisted Zimdef was in financial dire straits hence the decision to sell the building, which under normal circumstances is a cash cow by virtue of its prime location as observed by estate agents Frank Knight in their advertorial.
Zimdef has been in the news for the wrong reasons this year amid revelations senior Government officials were siphoning funds from the organisation for use in business not related to the reasons why it was founded in the first place.
Some senior Government officials in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development have been allegedly looting the fund leaving it in the intensive care unit.
Zimdef was established by Section 23 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act, 1984 (now revised Manpower Planning and Development Act Chapter 28:02 of 1996) with a broad objective of financing the development of critical and highly skilled manpower in Zimbabwe.
It is funded by industry who contribute one percent for the training of manpower deemed critical for its survival.