President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s adviser, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, has amassed a fortune on the back of weak governance systems and buying the silence of politicians, investigators and journalists, the Zanu PF Youth League said on Monday.
Tagwirei’s alleged corrupt business practices straddle fuel, mining, transport, retail, and construction, the youths said at a news conference curiously held at the Media Centre in Harare, and not the party headquarters.
“We are in a ship where some individuals are busy drilling holes for it to sink,” Youth League political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu told the news conference called to name corrupt businesspeople.
“The reason we are doing this is to pile pressure on authorities to act,” added Lewis Matutu, the League’s deputy secretary, even as he warned that such was Tagwirei’s influence they might lose their positions in the party.
Matutu insisted that Mnangagwa was “definitely not captured” by Tagwirei and batted away suggestions that outing Tagwirei was an attack on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who recently admitted in an affidavit filed in ongoing divorce proceedings from his wife that Tagwirei gifted him vehicles worth US$200,000.
Describing Tagwirei as “the cause of our suffering and poverty”, Matutu said: “How is it that he is the supplier of fuel; he runs Command Agriculture… he’s everywhere? Even the money on the streets (parallel market) is his.
“He’s the source of our problems. Our challenge is that he pretends to have someone’s protection… so, we have come here to shake the tree to see if someone will come to its rescue.”
Tagwirei, a recluse who shuns the media spotlight, is a “merciless man who doesn’t even have a heart,” Matutu charged.
The youths also called out Grain Millers Association chairman Tafadzwa Musarara and Green Fuel boss Billy Rautenbach for alleged corruption in the maize meal supply chain and fuel blending respectively.
Said Matutu: “The government is subsidising the price of mealie-meal, but you can’t get it from the shops. You tend to wonder what’s taking place. He (Musarara) can’t continue to accumulate wealth, while the population is suffering. Him and a clique of white people that he’s working with, I think they must just stop what they are doing.”
Tsenengamu said Rautenbach was enjoying a monopoly in blending petrol and ethanol, which the government has decreed to be mandatory.
“Why him alone?” asked Tsenengamu. “Why is Billy enjoying that monopoly, on top of that overpricing his ethanol to a point that fuel prices are unaffordable? Why are we creating opportunities for just one man to get rich at our expense?”
The Zanu PF youths have previously released a list of allegedly corrupt individuals, prompting Mnangagwa to establish a Zanu PF committee to investigate.
Matutu said the committee had never met, and no action had been taken.
Tsenengamu claimed a company linked to Tagwirei, which he did not name, had bought several mines across the country – including Jumbo Mine in Mazowe, Freda Rebecca Mine, Trojan Mine in Bindura and Shamva Mine.
“When he arrives there, he tells the shareholders that he is working with so and so, lying,” Tsenengamu said, before adding that Tagwirei typically claims to be fronting Mnangagwa or Chiwenga.
Tsenengamu said Tagwirei also had a company called PanJap, which was involved in importing government vehicles, but was now a conduit for importing vehicles for his car sales in Harare duty free.
“Let’s say there’s a government scheme to import vehicles, let’s say a 100 vehicles. He will import 40 cars for the government, and then 60 for himself. He’s working with a guy named Brighton,” Tsenengamu claimed.
Another of Tagwirei’s companies, Fossil Agro, is deeply involved in the government’s Command Agriculture, an opaque farmers’ support scheme in which a parliamentary committee says the government lost US$3 billion without trace.
“When the government said Command Agriculture will now be run through CBZ bank, Tagwirei followed and CBZ is now his. The government said fuel should no longer go through PUMA, but Trek… Trek is his,” Tsenengamu charged.
“This is happening because those in authority have allowed it. This is where we are also now asking leadership, to say you must choose whether you stand with Kuda, or stand with the people.”
Source: Kukurigo & ZimLive