Press Statement No. 8 of 2016: ZIMDEF
Two Sunday Papers of 9 October 2016 led with stories on the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) and the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission, (ZACC). In its headline ‘Prof Moyo Case shocking details’ The Standard, (October 9 – 16, 2016) claimed “First Lady Grace Mugabe, war veterans and ZANU PF youths were some of the beneficiaries of funds drawn from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF)……” while The Sunday Mail, 9 October 2016 in its headline ‘Probe into Prof Moyo’ claimed …..“Documents availed to the Sunday Mail show that Prof Moyo and a staffer in his office, Dr Gandawa, Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund chief executive Mr Frederick Mandizvidza and Zimdef principal director (finance) Mr Nicholas Mapute could have unlawfully benefitted from US430,000 of the State enterprise’s money between November 2015 and June 2016.”
THE ISSUE(S) AT STAKE
EMCOZ does not normally comment on unsubstantiated newspaper reports and is not passing judgement on issues either before the Courts of law or still to be brought thereto.
There has, however, been unprecedented member interest on this issue based on reports purpoted to be made by the Honourable people involved. Employers are outraged and dismayed if an alleged report that Minister Moyo said he was “the only Minister in history to have been charged with corruption for extending financial support to the youth league, the war veterans and the Fist Lady”, as quoted on page 2 of The Standard referred to above is true. On page 7 of the same paper, it is alleged that a statement made by Dr Gandawa to ZACC investigators read in part “As part of the skills development for the youths,we supported the youth mobilisation programme leading to the million man march, the million man march itself and post the million man march.”
THE MANDATE OF ZIMDEF
Employers pay 1% of their payroll every month to fund human capital development for the economy. It is accepted that the Minister, as Trustee, has wide discretion in how the Fund will be used. It makes sad reading, though, when newspapers publish stories of alleged corruption and misuse of funds at the Fund against the background of companies folding as a result of garnishees resulting from lack of capacity to meet the regulatory requirement of paying ZIMDEF dues.
THE BUSINESS POSITION
- Employers are distraught and have required that EMCOZ should follow the developments with intense interest and depending on the outcome of investigations taking place, consult on options available as the way forward.
- Corruption is a serious cancer working against the achievement of the goals of ZIMASSET. The issues raised by the Anti Corruption Commission are of great concern to our membership and, by extension, to the entire investing community.
- We are concerned that a legal institution like the Anti Corruption Commission is vulnerable to attack by the very institutions which are sworn to protect it. This could be interpreted locally and internationally as interference with the course of justice which significantly affects the attitude of investors.
- We call on the re-establishment of communication between the Fund, the Trustee and the funders through the National Manpower Advisory Council, as has always been the case in the past.
- ZIMDEF as a public institution must apply the funds for the purpose for which it was established and it should not be allowed to operate outside its mandate.
By Order of the Executive Committee