By Staff Reporter
Sakunda Holdings, a company that belongs to Kudakwashe Tagwirei who is under UK sanctions over corrupt dealings with the government of Zimbabwe is set to be unveiled as the sponsor of Zimbabwe’s two biggest football clubs, Dynamos and Highlanders.
Sakunda will tomorrow unveil a US$1 million-a-year deal with each club for the next three years following the clubs’ financial struggles for more than a decade.
An enquiry into audit reports recently revealed that the government failed to account for about US$3 billion disbursed under the Command Agriculture programme, a state farm subsidy championed by and largely financed by Sakunda Holdings.
Tagwirei is accused of using his proximity to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga to gain state contracts and receive favoured access to hard currency.
Last year, Chiwenga received top-of-the-range vehicles from Tagwirei to escort his children to school and another to supervise the Command Agriculture programme.
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) executive director Sipho Malunga said Sakunda Holdings was “notorious” for many things and has been implicated including by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in “irregular and corrupt Command Agriculture, mining and RBZ deals.
“It also features in a damning recent report by Sentry that implicates Tagwirei.”
“Why would Dynamos and Highlanders club executives take money from Sakunda? Every genuine supporter must resist this capture.”
Mlondolozi Ndlovu, a lifetime Highlanders supporter urged the club to take the money and invest in things that sustain it for the future.
“I would say that the club finds itself in a very tricky situation. It’s broke and most of the people have been worried about what has been happening at the club. Players not getting paid and deserting the club showing that things are not well at Highlanders.
“So I would say on the matter of principle, it is one of those things where you would say ‘do I remain poor or I have to make a choice and take money.
“But at the level of looking at the reality and saying why not take the money, achieve some bit of sustainability then look at something that is more sustainable for the club. But the club will find itself in a very difficult position in terms of its transactions and its monies when they are said to be connected to these people that are under international sanctions.
“But in as far as ensuring that the club may run in the short term they have to look at how they take the money and sustain themselves for the future,” he said. Nehanda Radio