By Harriet Chikandiwa
Former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has challenged ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and presented evidence that he settled his debt under the Farm Mechanisation Programme.
Kasukuwere was forced to absolve himself after a State-owned daily claimed that he did not pay back the loan under the programme after United Kingdom-based Zimbabwe lawyer Alex Magaisa disclosed the full list of top Zanu PF bigwigs and their cronies who benefited from the controversial scheme in 2007/8.
In a statement, the former Zanu PF national commissar blamed top party and government officials for hiding behind the finger, by claiming that the programme was not a loan in order to avoid paying back.
“It is with great disappointment that I learnt the RBZ and some former executives of the Fiscorp under which we were allocated farm equipment have professed ignorance on there being any payment on my part with respect to the items given to me,” Kasukuwere said.
“I have previously stated that I indeed made payment, and if anything was left outstanding, I would be happy to receive the relevant invoice and settle the payment. However, nothing has been done expect for public shaming of my person.”
Kasukuwere said he signed a purchase agreement with Fiscorp on November 19, 2008 which indicated he was to pay $3 390 533 275.
“Understanding the need for this equipment and my dedication to my farming operations, I made the payment the very next day, November 20 2008, through a CFX electronic funds transfer of the sum of $3 390 533 275.”
He said he would not tolerate a smear campaign.
“As previously mentioned, I am happy to pay for any other equipment I may have received if an invoice is availed and proof of who took delivery and signed for the receipt is brought to my attention,” Kasukuwere said. News Day