Mayor fumes over politicisation of $600m Covid Fund

Advocate Collen Maboke.
Mirror Reporter
Masvingo – Masvingo Mayor, Advocate Collen Maboke has clashed with Masvingo District Development Co-ordinator over politicisation of the $600m Covid-19 relief fund put in place by Government recently to help the vulnerable.
Maboke confirmed to The Mirror in an interview today that compilation of the list of would be beneficiaries is being done by losing Zanu PF candidates of the 2018 harmonised elections. The entire MDC team of seven councillors in the city have been shut out of the process, said Maboke.
He said the international community is justified to refuse aid to Zimbabwe if Government behaves in this manner. He said there are hundreds of starving residents who will be refused aid by Zanu PF and left to starve simply because they don’t support the ruling party.
President Mnangagwa set up the fund a few weeks ago to cushion vulnerable individuals and companies from the effects of Covid-19 particularly after he declared a 21-day lockdown. However, there have always been strong sentiments and fears that Zanu PF would use the Fund for political expediency.
Maboke accused Roy Hove, the District Development Co-ordinator (DDC) for Masvingo of leading the illicit process and added that the lists are being submitted to his offices by Zanu PF operatives.
Asked for a comment Hove said he would find out what was going on and give a feedback to The Mirror tomorrow.
However, Maboke told The Mirror that every Government office that he checked with identified Hove as the lynchpin of the process.
“After discovering that this fund has been politicised, I checked with every Government Department to establish the centre of the process. I even confronted the Minister of State for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira but I did not get a clear answer.
“I asked Hove and he told me that he had no information on the process. I went to his offices and actually saw Zanu PF activists bringing lists including one brought by Sylvester Chikondo from Ward 9. When I confronted Hove with this evidence, he excused himself and asked me to meet him the next day but he is now elusive,” said Maboke.
This however, adds confusion to the whole process. Last week The Mirror interviewed John Masvinu, an officer at Women Affairs who said he was responsible for compiling the list. It raised eyebrows however, that applications were being sent on his personal whatsapp number.
The Mirror made investigations in Ward 2 and established that hundreds of people turned up at the Zanu PF women’s league provincial secretary for administration Mucharevei Chamisa’s house number 375 Chikomo Street this week to apply for support under the fund.
Chamisa however, vehemently refuted allegations although every person in the neighbourhood who spoke to The Mirror directed reporters to her house for registration.
‘’These are total lies. Why do you want to bring politics into this?’’ fumed Chamisa.
Also registering people in the same ward are Zanu PF activists; one Kubiku and Mahiri who could however, not be reached for comment.#MasvingoMirror#

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