By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been embarrassed again, this time by the Namibian government after its Ambassador, Ashipala-Musayvi, dismissed reports that her country had donated a consignment of 4 449 test kits to Zimbabwe that would be used to accelerate COVID-19 testing in the country.
This report comes after, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, during a post cabinet media briefing in April said Namibia had donated a consignment of 4 449 test kits to Zimbabwe adding that the Health minister Obadiah Moyo and Vice-President Kembo Mohadi had confirmed the donation.
Musayvi said she consulted her government about the “tendentious media reports” and observed that Mnangagwa’s government had lied about the donation
“In a formal response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe informed that the allegations of the alleged donation of 4 499 testing kits from Namibia to Zimbabwe were unfounded, erroneous and apologised for the inconveniences the reports might have caused.
“The ministry would like to reiterate the assurances to the Namibian public that there was no such donation made by the government of the Republic of Namibia to the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” Musayvi said.
This is not the first time the Zanu PF government has been involved in lies.
Recently, the country’s Health minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officials after he was accused of illegally awarding a US$60 million contract for Covid-19 testing kits, drugs and personal protective equipment to a shadowy company, Drax International and he was released after paying ZW$50 000.
Delish Nguwaya, Drax representative was also arrested for lying to government that his company was a medical firm in a bid to be awarded tenders for Covid-19 medical supplies to the Health Ministry using his companies, Drax SAGL and Drax International.
It is alleged that Nguwaya lied not only to Moyo but to Mnangagwa that Drax was based in Switzerland, but it was only a consulting company with no experience in the manufacturing of medicines.
The country’s anti-corruption agency arrested Moyo as the scandal roiled the country and played out on social media, where some local journalists exposed how Moyo allegedly chose the company to sell medical supplies to the government at inflated prices that included face masks for US$28 each.
Initially, in the scandal, Mnangagwa’s son, Collins, was embroiled in a US$1m personal protective equipment (PPE) dispute while the Zanu PF leader’s top bodyguard, Valdano Brown, won lucrative contracts to supply Covid-19 equipment to the ministry of health without going through a competitive bidding process.
Both Collins and Brown have been reportedly linked to foreign registered firms, Drax International in Dubai and Jaji Investment in Namibia, the two companies that allegedly belong to a group of firms believed to be connected to First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa and her son which had scored contracts with the government during the virus outbreak.
Mnangagwa’s family and Delish are believed to have pocketed nearly US$1m after being contracted to supply the government with inflated coronavirus fighting equipment.
When details emerged pointing to Collins’ alleged involvement in the illicit deals, he quickly distanced himself from Nguwaya, an operative behind Drax International, who featured prominently in the deal.
Regardless of the arrest of Moyo and Nguwaya, there was also confusion on how Drax International approached Mnangagwa with a US$60 million Covid-19 bogus donation that eventually turned out to be another scandal.
In the same case, Information Ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana lied on social media that a video showing Mnangagwa appreciating the bogus donation of US$60 million from Drax International had not been played on the state broadcaster, ZBC when in fact it had been played.
ZBC responded by suspending the cameraman who filmed the donation, bizarrely claiming he had smuggled the footage into the main news bulletin without authority. Nehanda Radio