We never bankrolled Mugabe assassination plot: Tongaat

HARARE - Tongaat Hulett (Tongaat) has refuted allegations that it sponsored certain individuals aligned to former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s camp to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

Sydney Mutsambiwa, the Tongaat chief executive, told a parliamentary committee on indigenisation and economic empowerment, that his organisation has over the years been donating huge amounts of money to the cash-strapped Zanu PF party.

“Our company unequivocally states that it has never been and it will not be involved in any subversive activities and unlawfully engaging in activities of that nature,” Mutsambiwa said.

“We have never done that and I believe to the best of my knowledge that the allegation has no foundation or basis,” he told the Justice Mayor Wadyajena-led committee yesterday.

In response to non-constituency legislator for Midlands Melody Dziva’s question on Tongaat’s relationship with former Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Mutsambiwa said: “In respect of honourable Mavhaire and honourable Bhasikiti, the two gentlemen are not shareholders of any of our companies.

“Secondly, we have never sponsored them in their individual capacities other than in the capacity that they approached the organisation as members of Zanu PF in order to facilitate certain activities such as conferences which we have supported for a long time.

“We have worked with many individuals in that capacity and we do have appropriate records to that effect,” he said in response to Wadyajena’s request for the donation records.

Mutsambiwa noted that all the donations that were made to Zanu PF were to specific bank accounts. He said there were records that could be easily extracted.

“Indeed, we were requested to make donations for the recent Zanu PF conference and we contributed directly by paying those funds into the account,” Mutsambiwa said.

“The request was made by honourable Bhasikiti in his capacity as minister responsible for provincial affairs in Masvingo.”

Last month, Bhasikiti rubbished claims by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa that he had raised money to fund the ouster of Mugabe in favour of Mujuru. Bhasikiti said he actually raised money for the party’s congress and not to fight Mugabe.

Despite the allegations by Mnangagwa that he wanted Mugabe out, Bhasikiti said he still respected the new VP as his senior in the party.

In a statement to the Daily News Bhasikiti said: “I was appointed to chair the Masvingo congress fundraising sub-committee, where I appealed to individuals and corporates to donate generously towards our party’s congress.

“Tongaat Hullet donated $20 000 which it deposited directly into our Zanu PF account at the party headquarters.

“Bikita Minerals donated $20 000 in the Zanu PF account at Bank ABC in Masvingo which was transferred to the party’s HQ account.

“As is procedural, all proceeds were directed to the party HQ, as had been raised.

“A total of $63 000 and 23 beasts was raised becoming the record contribution over the years when Masvingo had not managed to raise any amount above $20 000.”


Comments (1)

Extortion of the highest order..

connie - 20 March 2015

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