The Zimbabwe Youth Council yesterday accused Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao and former board member Mr Acie Lumumba of using them as a conduit to withdraw $18 000 meant for youth funds.
ZYC assistant director for operation, Mr Sungano Chisina, who was the then acting executive director in April last year, told legislators that Minister Zhuwao directed them to engage Mr Lumumba’s company, Cornerstone (Pvt) Ltd, to conduct a workshop aimed at brain storming a blue-print for youth empowerment strategy without going to tender.
He said Cornerstone (Pvt) Ltd initially indicated that they would provide the work for free, only to bill them $17 600, ostensibly to cover the people Mr Lumumba’s company had hired to facilitate.
Mr Chisina said this while giving oral evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu-PF).
In his evidence, Mr Chisina said Mr Lumumba told them in Minister Zhuwao’s office that he got funding from Old Mutual, which was funding youth empowerment projects, but said his company could not secure the money because it had no vendor number.
He said Minister Zhuwao immediately appointed Mr Lumumba as chairperson of the steering committee of the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Strategy for Investment despite that his company was the one providing service for the fulfilment of that objective.
“Cornerstone could not register with Old Mutual for it to be a vendor,” said Mr Chisina, while fielding a barrage of questions from MPs.
“They requested that we receive the money and transfer all the money to them.
“We did the facilitation on the pretext that this was a youth led organisation. We only acted as a conduit.