Parliament’s Youth and Indigenisation portfolio committee has summoned Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) executive director, Livingstone Dzikira, to respond to allegations of abusing Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) resources, after he failed to turn up for a hearing yesterday
The Justice Mayor Wadyajena chaired committee said Dzikira had been evading invites to appear before it, prompting the resolve to summon him. “If you see Dzikira tell him…that the committee sat and resolved to summon him. Havasisina matiziro avachaita, havasisina manzvengero avachaita (he has got nowhere to run),” Wadyajena said telling the Youth ministry’s secretary, George Magosvongwe, yesterday.
This came after Magosvongwe, together with other ministry officials, attended the committee’s hearing, instead of ZYC, which had been scheduled to appear before the committee. According to Magosvongwe, the youth council is a department under the ministry, which however enjoyed some “autonomy”. Apparently, the ministry officials had ambushed the committee to make its prebudget consultative presentation, as they just turned up in place of the youth council.
“We were not expecting you today. We were expecting the youth council. You don’t just turn up, what has changed ” Wadyajena said as he read out an earlier letter in which the ministry’s officials had given an excuse that they would not be able to attend yesterday’s meeting, citing various reasons.
“We were not prepared to meet you today; we understood the contents of the letter that you were not coming today,” he said. ZYC has been accused of misappropriating 100 000 litres of fuel, from Zimdef, which the council said it had transferred to the Zanu PF Youth League to facilitate its activities. The fuel allegations followed investigations by the Zimbabwe AntiCorruption Commission (Zacc) into Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa’s alleged fraudulent activities involving Zimdef funds.
There have been growing calls for President Robert Mugabe to suspend Moyo and Gandawa over the deepening scandal involving over $400 000, with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying everyone, including vice presidents and ministers, is subject to criminal persecution. During yesterday’s committee sitting, Wadyajena quizzed Magosvongwe if he as the accounting officer of the ministry and the youth council was aware of donations made by other government departments.
Magosvongwe said he would only know after the information had been availed to him. In their presentation, the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry officials said they required $10 million more from the budgetary allocation in order to upscale the youth service as well as increase vocational training centres.