Zanu-PF youth leader Cde Kudzai Chipanga, yesterday drew brickbats from students’ unions for defending the siphoning of $270 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) by Higher and Tertiary, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa.
Zimdef, whose funding comes from industry, was created to benefit students at tertiary institutions, including when they are on attachment. However, Prof Moyo and his deputy Dr Gandawa, used the money to strengthen social ties in their constituencies and buying their cronies bicycles.
Dr Gandawa, according to documents, at one point bought personal furniture using the Zimdef funds. Prof Moyo has admitted the abuse, but tried to justify it.
Cde Chipanga, who is also accused of benefiting from 100 000 litres of fuel from Zimdef, was yesterday quoted in the private media slamming the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), The Herald and the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services for exposing the rot.
Cde Chipanga, without explaining how he used his loot, claimed those exposing the shenanigans were pursuing a factional agenda and wanted to derail Zanu-PF programmes. Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union president Tonderai Chidawa, said Cde Chipanga was the least qualified person to comment on the issue as he also owed Zimbabweans an explanation. He said no one should be allowed to abuse public funds and hide behind party programmes.
“The sponsoring done to the party by State enterprises is done willingly not in an extortionist, corrupt manner or to further the interests of a particular being especially a high ranking official like a minister,” Chidawa said.
“Chipanga, who does not have more than three Ordinary Level subjects, is the least qualified person to talk about this saga because he himself is implicated. His comments show that he is suffering from intellectual paralysis. If there are people to comment about these funds, it’s the students and industry, where the money comes from.”
Prof Moyo on Sunday identified Cde Chipanga as a beneficiary of the 100 000 litres of fuel from Zimdef. The fuel was requested by the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) on July 26, 2016 for a “skills gap assessment programme.’’
Tweeted Prof Moyo: “I approved request for 100K litres of fuel from CEO of NYC Livingstone Dzikira. He & Kudzai Chipanga took ALL of it!”
Zimbabwe National Students Union spokesperson Zivai Mhetu, said corruption had no place in a country reviving its economy.
“The economy has deteriorated and we have reasons that we think have caused this and one them is corruption by public officials,” he said.
“For someone to come in defence of looters and condemning those exposing irregularities, it will only leave a mark that the person is also corrupt. In any case, his actions will see us mobilising and demanding our grants, which were scrapped on the pretext that Government had no money. We had accepted the situation but behaviour of some people defending corrupt elements makes us think that we are being taken for a ride.”
Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa, Zimdef chief executive Mr Frederick Mandizvidza and Zimdef principal director (finance) Mr Nicholas Mapute could have unlawfully benefited from $430 000 of the State enterprise’s money between November 2015 and June 2016, documents show.
Cde Chipanga yesterday declined to comment on issues of his academic achievements, saying it was none of the two student unions’ business.
“The person (Mr Chidawa) that you are quoting is not in Zicosu leadership since he has since finished his studies. Zicosu is an affiliate of our organisation and we have the current leadership. As far as we understand, Chidawa was expelled for denigrating the President.
“As for Zinasu, it’s not our business to make an MDC-T organisation happy. We do not work to please the opposition affiliate organisation. We do work to please our membership. If Zinasu members are not happy, then we are happy,” he said.
The ZYC yesterday confirmed the siphoning of 100 000 litres of fuel from Zimdef.
In an emailed statement yesterday, Mr Dzikira — who is also accused of personally benefiting from the fuel, claimed the diesel was sent to the Zanu-PF Youth League.
He said the fuel was meant for a youth skills mapping exercise.
“The Youth Council therefore wishes to place it on record that the said fuel is with Zanu-PF Youth League, having received that support through their membership of the Zimbabwe Youth Council,” he said.
“The secretariat of the Youth League signed for this fuel and therefore is fully accountable for the usage of that fuel. In due course we expect that the Zanu-PF Youth League will furnish the Youth Council with its annual report, which will include this support together with a report on the specific outputs of the programme of Youth Skills Assessment that they are conducting in the districts of the country, for which they requested this support.” Herald