RULING party Zanu PF has once again extended its familiar begging bowl to companies to fund a “very special” exhibition in honour of President Robert Mugabe’s “astute and impeccable leadership” at the Zimbabwe Trade Fair (ZITF) despite companies struggling to stay afloat as a debilitating liquidity crunch takes its toll.
More and more companies are closing shop or retrenching as the economic environment remains hostile and deteriorates.
The request comes after patronage was on display at Mugabe’s birthday (February 21) bash in Victoria Falls were perennially underperforming parastatals and struggling companies, some of which have gone for several months without paying workers, were among the many businesses that contributed to Mugabe’s lavish birthday celebrations.
In a letter dated April 9 2015 sent to various companies, the party’s secretary for business development and liaison, who is also and Small to Medium Enterprises minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, requested funding for the party’s inaugural exhibition centre at the ZITF which runs from Tuesday to Friday next week.
“Zanu PF, through the department of business development and liaison, will be having an inaugural exhibition centre at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair 2015,” Nyoni wrote.
“This very special exhibition is dedicated to the 1st Secretary of Zanu PF Comrade RG Mugabe in honour and celebration of his astute and impeccable leadership towards the economic development of Zimbabwe.”
Nyoni requested that the companies pick “at least one” of the partnership categories named as “platinum”, “diamond”, “gold” and “silver” categories.
The platinum category’s contribution ranges between US$25 000 and US$50 000 depending on the company to which the request was made, raising suspicion there could have been a rent-seeking motive for this.
The diamond category ranges from US$18 000-US$45 000 depending on the firm from which the money was requested, gold was US$15 000 –US$35 000 and silver US$10 000-US$25 000.
A financial scandal recently hit Zanu PF after it emerged corporates were duped into depositing cash donations running into millions of dollars into a parallel 21st February Movement bank account for Mugabe’s birthday bash held in Victoria Falls.
Nyoni said the benefits for platinum partners include a five- minute presentation about their organisation and reactions towards business development at the Zanu PF Business Development All Stakeholders Indaba, 20 invites to the Indaba, 20 invites to the party’s all-stakeholders cocktail as well as branding points at the meeting which include VIP stage, podium and front panel stage banners.
Benefits for diamond partners, Nyoni said, include 15 invites to the business meeting, 10 invites to the cocktail, 10 stand-alone banners at the business meeting and 10 banners at the cocktail.
She said gold partners will get 10 invites to the meeting, 10 invites to the cocktail and five stand-alone banners at the business meeting, while the silver partner will get just five invites to the business meeting and five invites to the cocktail.
Companies directed to deposit their contributions in Steward Bank account number 1001672459, called GD Fund. The branch is Fife Street, Bulawayo.
“We would like to thank you in advance and are grateful for your kind financial gesture towards hosting this very special exhibition dedicated to his Excellency Comrade RG Mugabe,” Nyoni wrote.