There have been very serious corruption allegations leveled against the minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira , which are currently doing circles across media houses.
Some of the allegations were meant to prove that the minister was not following procedure and may have had some underhand deals with service providers, prompting many interested parties to have clarifications.
Speaking to the minister, he poured water on these allegations saying they are nothing but planned smear attacks against him, and also forces from some political corridors who could also be sympathetic to the current suspension of NetOne executives.
Here is his full response to allegations lately leveled against him and doing rounds.
1.You are reported to have bought a $200 000 car from an unapproved POTRAZ loan?
Anyone suggesting that I borrowed money from POTRAZ for my personal use either does not know how government functions or they are part of a dirty political campaign against me.
First, the accounting officer for any Ministry is the Permanent Secretary, and he or she is the one responsible for anything and everything to do with money.
Secondly, the suggestion that borrowing of money from parastatals from the ministry, through the Permanent Secretary, is abuse of office is totally incorrect. It is now common government practice that the Office of the President and Cabinet authorizes ministries to borrow from their parastatals to keep the ministries functional.
In the case of my Ministry, it received written authority from the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda to purchase two condition of service vehicles for the Minister and another for the Deputy Minister.
Treasury concurrence was sought from the Ministry of Finance by the Chief Secretary and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of ICT Eng Sam Kundishora. The documentary evidence is available for all to see.
The money that was spent for the vehicles is within the limits that were prescribed by the Ministry of Finance through the Office of the President and Cabinet. And again all the proof of disbursements is available for all who want to see.
After all is said and done, those vehicles don’t even belong to me or the deputy minister – they are CMED vehicles and they are registered as such. CMED is a 100 percent government-owned company.”
I spent nearly a year using personal cars for Govt business until those cars were bought. I’m not that unreasonable with public funds.
2. ZACC – Deputy Minister’s Car?
The deputy minister’s car was bought through the same process with approvals from the Office of the President and Cabinet. The allegation that there was no tender for the purchase of the vehicle is nonsensical. The State Procurement Board resolution granted authority for that purchase and its in writing.
3. You have been said to block NetOne from collecting Metropolitan Bank payments?
It’s ridiculous to suggest that I would block NetOne from collecting its dues from Metropolitan Bank. Why would I do that? I am not a shareholder at Metropolitan Bank and they have no branch in my constituency.
The money they invested in Metropolitan Bank was done when I was not even Minister of ICT.
I had a meeting in my office with the NetOne CEO Reward Kangai and the bank officials where I insisted they should go and discuss and resolve the matter amicably. And because of my intervention, Metropolitan Bank has now paid almost $500 000 of the $700 000 that was outstanding.
I understand they have offered to pay outstanding amount in full using treasury bills.
4.You are reported to have hired your own Megawatt company to investigate NetOne and force them to pay off the services?.
That company was brought in to investigate the $218million project being implemented by NetOne. It’s now public knowledge that Megawatt produced a detailed report which indicated prejudice of unbelievable proportions.
Out of that, $30 million has been recovered. The company that over charged committed to pay Megawatt for all the work they did and via a success commission.
Megawatt did work that brought back USD30million and this must be applauded and not investigated. In any case, they were engaged with the relevant consultations and approvals from my superiors.