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AG: ICT Minister Mandiwanzira got loans from POTRAZ without gov approval

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Supa Mandiwanzira

With fresh allegations of corruption already being levelled against the ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, it doesn’t do him any good that the Auditor General is now revealing the minister went against governance rules to fund the purchase of vehicles and his Telecel acquisition project.

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A report by the Auditor General released this week revealed that without Treasury approval, Supa Mandiwanzira got a $289,000 loan from POTRAZ which the ministry used to acquire vehicles him and the deputy minister (Win Mlambo).

The Ministry of ICT also apparently got a $10 Million loan from POTRAZ to buy into Telecel. That amount plus the $30 Million that NSSA contributed, funded the purchase of the Ministry’s 60% stake in Telecel. This too was done without Treasury approval.

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Here’s an excerpt of the report:

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 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.

Treasury approval aside, POTRAZ funding the acquisition of a mobile operator strongly calls into question the neutrality of the telecoms regulator and their ability to regulate the sector. POTRAZ’s stated purpose is to “create a level playing field” and to operate with fairness, transparency and integrity.

One would argue that using funds contributed by the wider industry in telecoms fees, to help a government buy a competitor in that same industry is not fair. And the fact that how the Ministry got the $10 million was a mystery until this Auditor General’s report speaks of the lack of transparency at both the ministry and POTRAZ.

Companies like Econet have long complained that POTRAZ has actively contributed to the creation of an unlevel playing field and POTRAZ has, all the time, denied this.

It is noteworthy that on becoming the ICT minister, one of Mandiwanzira’s earliest moves was to fire the whole POTRAZ board and appoint new members.


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22 thoughts on “AG: ICT Minister Mandiwanzira got loans from POTRAZ without gov approval

  1. what is it with these ZANU guys and cars?? seriously? it seems like a national trend to feel awesome by styling in your latest parastatal or government bought vehicle.

    1. I’d blame it on being dull.

      It isnt even a ZANU thing. Even MDC and all form of party leadership. They were all in agreement to get those expensive, fuel-guzzling SUVs citing the abiility to reach their remote constituencies as justification… yet they don’t even lay a toe on them…except during elections.

      Our populace is actually more logically minded than our feeble minded leadership.

      We did say that Supa was running the Ministry like his father’s, backyard tuckshop.

      Just another empty vessel amongst the many dumb idiots who call themselves leaders

  2. adding to a long list of corrupt things done by the ICT minister, adding to a list of corrupt ministers in Zimbabwe. the president of-course will reward him with a move to a bigger ministry – maybe the ministry of finance – and we cry of sanctions when the biggest economic albatross on the zim economy is self inflicted

  3. What kind of car did he buy.. What did his deputy get, from the prices that looks like possibly a combination of an S Class and an E Class or land cruiser VX and a prado?

  4. This really stinks. A so called Supa minister who is apparently Supa corrupt.
    Just dont get why parastatals give out loans to top management ,ministers and directors.These guys are earning salaries and should go to the bank for loans.a parastatal should stick to its core business for which it was created.
    If this is true then it is rather disappointing and disgusting for a minister with such a loud mouth

      1. Kabweza, was that work vehicle a truck labelled Ministry of ICT or a private number plated comfortable vehicle?

      2. I thought official vehicles for ministers are provided for in the government vehicle scheme. Do ministries now look for money separately to fund vehicle purchases?

      3. I did read the story.Sorry if i sound confused but this sounds like a personal loan to me.
        1.Ministers state vehicles if i am not wrong are bought through one ministry under the government vehicle scheme.
        2.Are you saying that each ministry buys its own “work vehicles”?
        3.If you do further digging in most parastatals you will find that they advance loans to ministers and directors which i personally do not think is good governance.

  5. In a country where people respect law and take responsibility of their actions, they resign from any slightest accusion of corruption or corrupt activities…

    People resign and are accountable, just like what the British Prime Minister has just done, resigned!

    1. In Africa you don’t resign. You deny, then accept, then justify and life goes on…

  6. And we expect these guys to turn around the economy??? someone must be having a nightmare. The great questions of the day require a revolution

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