Mnangagwa son breaks silence on Covid-19 equipment scandal

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By Mary Taruvinga

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Collins has denied any links with a company said to have pocketed nearly US$1 million after being contracted to supply government with grossly inflated coronavirus fighting equipment.

Zimbabwe media is awash with stories, Drax International, the company at the centre of the alleged scandal, charged the government a massive US$987 720 for coronavirus equipment and test kits which could be sourced locally for maximum US$325 000.

The deal caused outrage when it was revealed government, through Treasury, procured face masks at an exorbitant US$28 per unit when the same product could be sourced from local pharmacies at not more than US$5.

This resulted in allegations that Drax International, fronted by controversial businessman Delish Nguwaya, got the contract because the former is friends with Collins.

Nguwaya is alleged to have used his proximity to the First Family to make the Ministry of Finance push through the payment, despite an earlier decision by Treasury to suspend Covid-19 kit procurement.

Feeling the heat, Collins has emerged denying any business links with Nguwaya while further threatening to sue everyone who has implicated him in the scandal.

“I am not a member of the said organisation and I have no shares or interests in their transaction with any Drax International’s representative, including Mr Delish Nguwaya,” said Collins in a Friday statement.

He was unhappy no newspaper that carried the story made an effort to contact him for his side of the story.

Collins said the allegations were only aimed at tarnishing his image.

“It is in bad taste that professional journalists have fallen prey to false news being peddled by errant malcontents online. It is important for me to set the record straight concerning the issue.

“The sole purpose of this narration is to damage my reputation and that of the First Family.

“Legal action will follow any current and further statements made to slander my name, reputation and that of the First Family,” he said.

Other publications said Collins and Nguwaya were actually business partners.