Mujuru holds secret fund-raising dinner

Parastatals fork out $6 million per table
By Tricks Mupondagarwe
HARARE - In an intriguing development in President Robert Mugabe's succession logjam, Vice President Joice Mujuru - the top contender for the post - last month held a secret fundraising dinner at Rainbow Towers in Harare.

R>High-level sources told The Zimbabwean that Mujuru, who appears to have fallen out of favour with Mugabe, was desperate to outflank her rival Emmerson Mnangagwa, Sources said a sizeable number of cabinet ministers and MP’s aligned to Mujuru’s faction, led by her husband and former army commander Solomon Mujuru, attended the “secret dinner”, which was neither a State nor Zanu (PF) function. Some of the ministers and legislators present at the indaba included, Munacho Mtezo who runs Mujuru’s former ministry in charge of Water resources and Infrastructural development, deputy finance minister David Chapfika and legislator David Butau. Other ruling party officials who attended include David Karimanzira, Karikoga Kaseke, Christian Katsande, Ray Chihota and Joel Matiza.
“The whole thing caught us by surprise,” a parastatal head who attended the dinner meeting told The Zimbabwean. “We were told to make ourselves present at the gala but were not sure what the function was all about. We were instructed to buy tables for $6 million dollars after which we were made to pledge donations for an unknown cause.” Parastatal heads are particularly vulnerable to government pressure as their jobs depend entirely on Zanu (PF)’s patronage.
Investigations revealed that Mujuru was booked at the Rainbow Towers Jacaranda rooms 2 and 3, while the prior occupants of the rooms were ordered out to pave way for the dinner. Sources added that the booking was made through the finance director’s office instead of the conferencing office, raising eyebrows as to the motive behind the meeting.
An official at Rainbow Towers who declined to be identified for job safety reasons listed Net One, Zesa, Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) as some of the parastatals present. No comment could be obtained from the information ministry as information minister, Paul Mangwana, kept switching his phone off. Mujuru’s office declined to comment.

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