By Darlington Gatsi
MINISTER of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube has professed ignorance over a military linked shadowy company, Rusununguko/Nkululeko, currently embroiled in several scandals.
This comes after Independent Norton legislator, Themba Mliswa accused the Defence ministry of using the company to plunder national resources.
Mliswa was chucked out of Parliament after accusing supremos ZANU PF of using the shadowy company for being a conduit for looting.
The MP questioned the company’s partnership with the Chinese, demanding accountability from the company.
On Tuesday, Ncube conceded that while the defence forces have been capacitated through being given assets, he was not aware of Rusununguko company.
“From Honourable T Mliswa, the issue of the war veterans company that you have raised; again, that is exactly what I have just addressed, that we have given them assets in mining, agriculture, tourism, real estate, financial services and there is a group of companies that is run by a board.
“I do not have any accounts from Nkululeko/Rusununguko Companies within the defence forces. I will make a request to see those. I have no idea as to how much they are making and how profitable it is,” said Mthuli Ncube.
Mliswa had demanded the disclosure of Rusununguko company’s operations for transparency on the profits the military company is generating from its ventures.
“The problem here is how much is being generated from the resources that are given to the military,” said the MP.
“It is important because the war veterans are supposed to be benefiting from that as well and talk about canteens in the barracks as well.
“Rusununguko is a company with shareholders and it is to benefit the army – how much is it making?”
Rusununguko is believed to be owned by the military and has vast interests in agriculture and mining.
Muchinguri last week said Rusununguko was a private company which does not benefit from government budgetary allocations.
“It operates like any other private company,” said the defence minister.
“We have so many companies where ( Agricultural and Rural Development Authority) has gone into partnership with private sector and to single out Defence, where every effort is being made by His Excellency to address the social welfare issues of our soldiers, is to say the least, very, very unfair.”
The company has been involved in several disputes over the past years.
In the latest case, the company was dragged to court by an Oman based businessman on allegations of seizing his four upmarket houses.