AG: Supa Mandiwanzira gets $200K car loan from own parastatal

AG: Supa Mandiwanzira gets $200K car loan from own parastatal

HARARE, June 23 (The Source) – ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira broke the rules and got a $194,000 loan from a parastatal under his Ministry for the purchase of a vehicle, a report by the Auditor general reveals.

The Auditor General’s department, in its new report on government ministries, also revealed how the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) loaned $10 million to the ministry for its acquisition of a controlling interest in Telecel Zimbabwe. The loan was extended with no Treasury approval.

“The Ministry (of ICT, Postal and Courier Services) got loans amounting to $10 million, $194 564 and $95 000 from POTRAZ for the acquisition of government’s shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe and purchasing of the Minister and Deputy Minister’s (Win Mlambo) vehicle respectively, without Treasury concurrence. These amounts were still outstanding as at the time the audit was concluded,” the report says.

The Ministry also borrowed an additional $58 888 from POTRAZ and state owned mobile operator NetOne.

Says the Auditor General: “The ministry did not provide documentary evidence to show that they were given treasury authority to borrow from state owned enterprises. Since the amount of $58 888 relates to appropriation expenses by the ministry, the expenditure should be accounted for in the 2015 financial year.”

“In addition, the ministry did not provide documentary evidence on how it intends to account for the $10 289 564 for the purchase of shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe and the purchase of the Minister and Deputy Minister’s vehicles.”

Telecel is the country’s smallest mobile telecoms firm with 2,4 million subscribers. Earlier this year, Mandiwanzira said the $40 million purchase of Telecel had been done through ZARNet, a struggling Internet Service Provider wholly owned by the government through the ICT Ministry.

In April, pension fund NSSA announced it had put up $30 million to buy the Telecel stake, a deal it described as “too compelling” to pass over. Until the Auditor General’s report, it had been unclear how government had raised the other $10 million.

NSSA chairman Robin Vera said then that the $30 million advanced to ZARnet was not a loan but quasi-equity participation funding, which would give NSSA equity control of Telecel Zimbabwe until certain conditions are met by ZARNet.

“In all circumstances, NSSA will emerge as a significant equity holder in Telecel Zimbabwe Limited”.

On February 25, the Amsterdam-headquartered telecoms giant VimpelCom said the deal was yet to be completed. Mandiwanzira told Parliament that the money for the stake was yet to be transferred to Vimpelcom due to cash shortages in Zimbabwe.

Telecel’s remaining 40 percent is owned by Empowerment Corporation, a consortium of local shareholders. The group has opposed the sale of Vimpelcom’s 60 percent shares, although Mandiwanzira has claimed that they too had approached NSSA to buy their shareholding.

POTRAZ’s part in the purchase of a stake in a company it is supposed to supervise, and its loan to Mandiwanzira, may raise fresh questions about its role as a regulator. The authority already faces criticism of being unfair in how it treats the licensing of operators.

  • Engineer

    Supa’s stock is rising in the field of government corruption. A shining star is what he is

  • Diva Dollar

    …bob does nothing he just claps slowly in approval for his corrupt ministers.

  • Mundo Buka

    This is fantastic evidence of corruption. Unfortunately, because of the political system nothing is going to happen. The Auditor General does not also recommend what action must be taken. Time to pressure the Public Protector to take action.

  • The Observer

    Supa is super corrupt.

  • Kubayi

    i get sick each time I read the story about Supa Mandiwanzira being bought a $200,000 car by Potraz, a parastatal organisation under his care. First he chose an a Nissan Infiniti, a high-end 4×4 luxury car. Secondly he already had a government vehicle, or government and personal vehicles from his previous position as deputy minister.
    Thirdly, and more important, an Infiniti does not cost $200,000. The most expensive Infiniti Q80 in South Africa today, this hour, costs R1.5million, inclussive of ALL taxes. That translates to a little less than $100,000. Now, consider that some 30 per cent of that are taxes you end up with $70,000. Government does NOT pay taxes so the most that should have been paid for that car is, to be generous, $70,000. Consider too the fact that we are talking about an earlier model.
    Now, who’s fooling who here. We’ve had these scams by ministers before. The most famous being Asif Patel, the crooked Harare businessman, importing a Land Cruiser for Dr. Ignatius Chombo from Australia, of all places.
    Zimbabwean officials collect cars. It’s wealth. Each minister is allocated three cars and add one they get through a Parliamentary scheme. They hardly ever use their cars. They just park them at home and draw from the car pool again and buy their allocations when they are due for replacement, for a song and when they are still in their prestine conditions.
    Deputy ministers who get promoted keep their cars and demand that they be allocated new fleets, like Supa did. Nothing new there. It’s collective sickness and one of the many ways they can loot the fiscus. This is the only country in the world where you find this. Anywhere else ministers and deputy ministers are allocated just one car and they don’t drive it to their constituencies at weekends using government drivers, government fuel, government resources and accompanied by government-provided bodyguards.
    And we cry that we are broke and getting broker everyday.

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