Government shields ZEC, Chivayo in US$40 million elections procurement scandal

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By Darlington Gatsi

Government officials have evaded corruption allegations that persistently plague the executive, amidst reports of unexplained expenditures linked to the awarding of tenders to allies of the ruling party.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) allegedly granted a tender to ex-con and Zanu PF member Wicknell Chivayo to supply election materials for the 2023 plebiscite.

Through a South African company Ren Form CC Chivayo, Zanu PF central committee member Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu received more than US$40 million.

In another corruption scandal, ZEC reportedly procured non-flushable toilets six days before the elections.

These 2 000 toilets valued at US$7.6 million, were delivered eight months after the elections despite the commission paying for them last year.

After being quizzed by Citizens Coalition for Change senator Sengezo Tshabangu recently in the upper house, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Lovemore Matuke dismissed these allegations.

“The allegations are not substantial.  We cannot deal with information which is not substantiated.  What the Hon. Senator is saying has no proof.

“I thought we could research more on that because there is nothing like that which happened.  It never came in the public domain, those are simply allegations,” said Matuke.

Despite ZEC, Chivayo, Chimombe and Mpofu denying being involved in the procurement scandal, questions linger over the electoral body.

Opposition politicians have called for investigations into the procurement scandal.

Deputy Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Norbert Muzungunye said the allegations are baseless.

“As far as I am concerned, I feel that question is a specific question which might require time to go back and research more on it and maybe if we do our findings, then we can properly respond to that matter.

“At the moment, there are still allegations which are not substantiated as has been said already but we may need to go and verify again. I submit,” said Muzungunye.