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

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[This article from the 24th of July 2016 has been republished because it is related to current events as they concern Minister Supa Mandiwanzira and the corruption allegations leveled against him]

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

  1. Looks like the long rope is tightening around this man’s neck….time will tell.
    No serious individual can believe what Potraz says or does….”level playing field” means to them tipping all odds in their favour and to heck with everyone else. This also seems to be the typical Zanu PF way of doing things, unless the brand new second hand team does them differently this time around!

  2. @Sagitarr
    Lol. With this particular person (Supa or Supper or whatever) he willingly put the noose around his own neck and then gave the free end of the rope to the executioner. Time to pull it tight !. Thr amounts that are being talked about here cannot be condoned with in the office of a person who is still, to this date, in the same office with the same responsibilities over the same portfolio !!! ED show us some mettle in delivering on your promises. WE ARE WATCHING…

  3. My take on all this is simple both Kangai and Mandiwanzira are corrupt goons. People are wondering which side to take but the truth is neither side is worth taking. Each person is telling a half truth and only naming the misdeeds of his foe when in truth these two are just the two sides of a rotten apple.

  4. This unloyal thief who was the first to throw Mugabe under the bus, after Mugabe had elevated him beyond his potential must be arrested. But he wont because Kutonga Kwaro Garwe is not driven by principle, but lies and deceit.

    The She Crocodile is now posing for photographs with vulnerable poor sick people in underfunded hospitals, violating peoples privacy, with ZBC filming her. I now hear there is not a ZBC crew dedicated to following and filming Mnangagwa’s third wife, Auxilia. Changosara is filming her buying tomatoes from vendors.

    Please tell the She-Crocodile to go easy on AMBI (skin bleaching agents)

  5. Thank you Techzim for these insightful articles on corruption in the ICT sector. Clearly, this is disgusting. Potraz and the entire tech industry has been compromised by these blood-thirsty ticks. Zanu pf has failed to govern for generations, we are only getting to know a glimpse of the corruption simply because these guys are fighting. How may similar corrupt deals have other ministers like obert mpofu, and others done? And why is it that zacc is only after the G40 guys. Corruption has been the hallmark of zanu pf governance and if president mnangagwa is serious, it is time we see no boundaries in prosecutions. Lacoste guys are also equally corrupt. But again, how does a snake swallow itself out of existence if it starts with its tail. Its a fallacy that the snake can swallow its self, isn’t it? ???

  6. Disgusting, really disgusting behaviour contrary to the natural mandate of the minister and what Potraz must stand for. Further, this is criminal abuse of funds and there ought to be restitution and accountability.

  7. I have always wondered how do we define “conflict of interest” in telecommunication industry. The minister’s company does PR & advertising job for Africom, then other players in the Sector like TelOne are refused LTE Technolgy but in favour of Africom.. Now it’s Potraz funds being used to underdevelop other telcos,,, Hey!!! ..Some few months back there was Econet/same Minister tiff when Econet complained bitterly on the conduct of the ‘super minister”

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