THE on-going battle pitting indigenisation parliamentary portfolio chairperson Justice Mayor Wadyajena and former Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is also Zanu PF national commissar, has opened a can of worms as it emerges that most of the money raised through the community share ownership trusts was in fact used to oil the Zanu PF poll machinery for the 2013 general elections, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
A total of US$116,4 million was pledged to the trusts by several companies across the country and of that amount, about US$30 million was paid. However sources said the bulk of the money raised funded Zanu PF activities ahead of the 2013 elections, controversially won by the party amid systematic rigging and voter disenfranchisement allegations.
Zanu PF officials revealed that Kasukuwere, now Local Government minister, was annoyed by the grilling he is getting from Wadyajena considering that most of the money raised through the indigenisation programme was channelled towards the party’s election campaign.
Last month Wadyajena moved a motion in parliament to have Kasukuwere charged for contempt of parliament after he failed to answer questions on how the community share ownership schemes were handled.
“Mugabe signed the Indigenisation bill into law in 2008 when Zanu PF’s financial position was precarious,” said a senior party official said. “The central committee report presented in 2009 showed that the party was in a serious financial crisis due to the introduction of the multi-currency system that year. Kasukuwere had to bulldoze foreign-owned companies to comply with the law, in the process raising funds for the party.”
So dire was Zanu PF’s’ financial position in 2009 that it managed to raise only US$675 from subscription fees despite disbursing 1,6 million cards which were on sale for US$1 each.
The revelations come at a time the indigenisation policy has become a fresh focal point of Zanu PF factional fights. Wadyajena is believed to be fighting in Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s corner.
Kasukuwere is said to be a key member of the G40 group positioning itself to grab key posts in the post-Mugabe era. The group is at loggerheads with the Mnangagwa faction.
Relations between the Mnangagwa faction and the G40 group, which coalesced around President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace ahead of the party’s acrimonious congress in December last year which led to the ouster of vice-president Joice Mujuru, have deteriorated since congress as the factions position themselves.
“In 2013 Mugabe launched an election campaign which was premised on indigenisation which he dubbed ‘the campaign of our life’,” another senior official said.
“Zanu PF rolled out an impressive campaign which included the purchases of 550 vehicles, countless T-shirts and campaign posters. Of course there were also some companies who chipped in with funds, but money from the indigenisation programme played a key role.”
After winning the 2013 elections, Zanu PF declared it was broke and owed creditors over US$11 million.