By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The suspension of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) cameraman, Stan Marodza exposes the desperate attempt by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his family to distance themselves from alleged fraudster Delish Nguwaya and his dodgy company Drax International.
On Thursday ZBC suspended Marodza over damning video evidence of Mnangagwa appreciating a bogus US$60 million donation of medical supplies for the fight against COVID-19 from alleged family friend Nguwaya and his controversial Drax International company.
This comes after Information Ministry Permanent Secretary, Nick Mangwana’s lies were exposed after he had claimed that a video showing President Emmerson Mnangagwa appreciating the Drax donation had not been played on ZBC.
Mangwana also accused Marodza of selling the video to Nguwaya, the man at the centre of the US$60 million procurement scandal that has sucked in Mnangagwa’s family.
Mangwana accused the cameraman of sneaking the video into the main news bulletin.
In a letter dated June 19, seen by Nehanda Radio, the director of news and current affairs Gilbert Nyambabvu, instructed the ZBC Human Resources and Administration director to charge Marodza with gross misconduct which could lead to dismissal.
“Following preliminary investigations, I am of the opinion that cameraman S Marodza committed gross misconduct in violation of section 11:25 of the ZBC employment code of conduct,” read the letter in part.
When the video was released on social media, Mangwana was forced to admit that Mnangagwa was deceived by the representatives of Drax including Nguwaya and Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.
Regardless of the arrest of Moyo and Nguwaya, there was confusion on how Drax approached Mnangagwa with a US$60 million Covid-19 donation, played on ZBC and then eventually the donation turns to be a scandal involving the First Family and Cabinet ministers.
Mnangagwa claims on ZBC video clip that he made a personal appeal for the donation that turned out to be not only bogus but fraudulent having sapped money from struggling Zimbabwean coffers.
But Mnangagwa’s spin doctor, Mangwana wanted to lie that the clip had not been played because the Zanu PF leader had discovered that the company dealers were lying.
Moyo was arrested last week Friday evening by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officials over the USD$60 million scandal that witnessed Drax being awarded a tender without the requisite paperwork.
“They lied to him. He sussed them out after. That’s why this clip was not played on TV, ” Mangwana wrote on his Twitter handle.
UK based legal analyst, Alex Magaisa quickly blasted Mangwana, stating the spin doctor was lying because it was on record that the President himself had claimed to have made a personal appeal to Drax for the bogus donation.
“Secretary Mangwana for the record, President Mnangagwa said he made a ‘personal appeal’ to Drax, an obscure entity fronted by a habitual criminal. He claimed Drax donated US$60 million. This was a blatant falsehood. Drax got US$60 million contracts from government,” Magaisa added.
Embarrassed Mangwana went on to blame and as one of the State Media bosses, he threatened Marodza for capturing and publishing the video.
“The scam is actually much more intricate than I even imagined. I am informed that after the reporter shelved the story, the scammers got to the cameraman Stan Marodza who managed to get the clip played 3 days later and then gave the original to Nguwaya for leveraging officials.
“Unfortunately in this case it happened and I understand the cameraman is dealing with the consequences of his suspected corrupt ways. Of course there is a failsafe in the ZBC system, which needs to be rectified,” Mangwana said.
One observer responded, “If the president didn’t know the existence of US$60 million contract he deserve to be impeached. He is sleeping on the Job.”
At the centre of the Drax corruption scandal is Zimbabwe’s First Family with Mnangagwa’s son Collins fingered as the beneficiary.
According to multiple sources and leaked letters, a company called Drax Consult and another called Drax International both owned by a friend of the Mnangagwa family (Nguwaya) were first awarded a contract worth USD 20 million to supply medical equipment and medicines and another USD 40 million for the supply of Covid-19 medicine and personal protective equipment.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and his Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga are also believed to be involved in the scandal while Moyo is the only Cabinet minister sacrificed so far.
This comes at a time when Zimbabwe’s annual inflation, according to statistics soared more than 800% in May and the figures have been stoking fears of a return of the kind of hyperinflation that wiped out savings 11 years ago. Nehanda Radio