By Andrew Kunambura
The on-going Zanu PF youth rallies have been a windfall to Alpha Omega Dairy Private Limited owned by President Robert Mugabe’s family as the youth league is reportedly buying from it all dairy products being dished out at the party’s gatherings.
Alpha Omega, a multi-million-dollar business located in Mazowe, is a subsidiary of the first family’s business empire, Gushungo Holdings.
Investigations by the Daily News revealed that the youth league is paying for the dairy products; yoghurts and ice creams which are consumed at the rallies.
The products are distributed for free to the masses attending the rallies.
So far, Mugabe has held well-attended rallies, dubbed presidential youth interface meetings in seven provinces, implying that the company has so far made quite some substantial amount of money from the sales.
At the Midlands rally in Gweru last Friday, First Lady Grace Mugabe told the gathering that she had brought $15 000 worth of ice cream to feed the gathering, claims which were repeated by national political commissar for the youth league, Innocent Hamandishe.
“I have brought you ice cream worth $15 000 to enjoy,” she told the crowd.
Zanu PF youth league national secretary for finance, Tongai Kasukuwere, confirmed that the ice cream was paid for, but said provinces do so out of their own will to support the first family’s dairy firm.
“The relationship between the youth league and the first family is mutual. When we have money, we tend to support the Gushungo Dairy brand but at times the first lady donates to us, so it is a two-way relationship.
“However, the provinces that host the interface rallies have a duty to mobilise resources and so there is absolutely nothing wrong in supporting our mother’s business,” Kasukuwere said.
A member of the Zanu PF Midlands youth league provincial executive who declined to be identified for fear of victimisation said: “The provincial youth league executive had to raise the money after the national executive said they had run out of funds. So we paid for those products.”
Midlands provincial youth chairperson, Prosper Machando, declined to comment on the matter saying he had no authority over financial issues.
“I am not the person responsible for that, look for someone else,” he said when contacted last week before terminating the call.
Senior Zanu PF provincial youth league members from Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland West and Manicaland provinces also confirmed raising money for the Gushungo Dairies products.
“The money which we raised included that which was to pay for the Alpha-Omega products. We were plainly told that the products would be useful in attracting people to the rallies,” said a youth league official from Matabeleland South province.
The official said they were asked to pay $8 000 for the rally which was held in Gwanda on August 12, with the rest being paid for by the national executive.
“Every province pays. I am not sure if the Matabeleland South bill was paid but the chairperson was given a bill which had an outstanding amount of $8 000. It had an Alpha-Omega letterhead,” the source said.
Efforts to get comment from Matabeleland South provincial youth chairperson, Dingumuzi Phuthi, were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.
Another senior youth league member from Masvingo said they paid for so much ice cream that “we actually ended up with excess ice cream which we had to give to patients at Masvingo General Hospital.” Daily News