Chiyangwa speaks on tour funding

Cde Chiyangwa

Cde Chiyangwa

Bulawayo Bureau
The First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe’s “Meet the People tours” across all provinces are being financed by “private money” and not taxpayers’ funds, businessman Cde Philip Chiyangwa has said.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo left the door open for speculation yesterday after telling a newspaper that, “I really don’t know where the funding is coming from”.
This allowed the paper to speculate that the “mega-rallies, attended by Cabinet ministers and top civil servants, could be feeding from the ailing national fiscus”.

Cde Chiyangwa hit out at the claims, revealing that he chairs a committee which raises funds to sponsor the First Lady’s programmes ahead of her expected assumption of the post of Secretary for Women’s Affairs at the Zanu-PF National People’s Congress in December.

“I chair the committee on funding the First Lady’s programmes,” he said.
“We have sponsors. If there is anything that has been said about money, it’s private money, it’s a fund that was brewed during the Women’s League Conference following the chaotic Youth Conference.”

Cde Chiyangwa was speaking in Gwanda, Matabeleland South, where the First Lady addressed the sixth rally of her national tour.
“It became clear to us that unless we put together a more formidable position regarding funding, the whole programme related to the secretary for women’s affairs designate, we’ll have problems,” he said.

Cde Chiyangwa, who made his fortune in real estate, added: “There is no question of how much we’ve spent. People who are spending this money are willing to spend it to support her.
“This is money nobody should even talk to me about, or ask me. It’s funds that will continue to flow until her programme gets to December.”

Cde Chiyangwa declined to name other members of the committee.
“I have identified myself as the chairman,” he said curtly.

President Mugabe’s spokesman Mr George Charamba added: “Comrade Gumbo’s ignorance of the funding does not mean that the rallies are funded by the State.”
Cde Charamba pointed out that the First Lady was a “woman of means” with an impressive business portfolio, adding that her security — which has meant she uses an Air Force helicopter to reach certain venues — was rightly being handled by State agencies.

“As the First Lady, we look at issues of security, convenience and availability of the plane and these are benefits that ordinarily the First Family would receive,” he said.
“Wherever she goes, private or public, she should have security and her staff.”


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  • Significant Watemwa

    OOOOH now there is a private agenda to unsettle the country and ruling party. I thought it was the party financing it.

    • Shuvai

      Why do we have Charamba, not Kamwi commenting on the private business of the first lady. Has he got something to hide? This is very unfortunate.

      • Zimbabwe United

        Is Kamwi the Presidential spokesperson or it is Charamba?

        • John Chimindo

          The first lady is not the president.

  • Tarubva

    Funding aside, what are civil servants doing at a Zanu PF function during hours? What are ministers, paid full-time by taxpayers to do government work, doing at a Zanu PF function during hours? Is the First Lady entitled to be flown in a government helicopter, by government pilots while doing her party business? With such outrageous and unprecedented unprofessionalism from the Zanu PF government, do we really have to blame “sanctions” for our problems?

    • Judas Iscariot

      Tarubva i normally agree with you on everything that you say,i think you got this one wrong.Of course Grace is conducting party business, but she is still the first lady and entitled to all the state benefits.Even in the US, taxepayers mostly Republicans have always complained because Michelle Obama goes to her vacations on Airforce one and she will have the secret service paid by taxepayers,even when she is on party business,yes she has been on numerous campaign trails, campaigning for Democrats while she still enjoys state benefits. So i don,t see anything unusual here.So are you also suggesting the president should not use state resources when he is on ZANU PF business? As for the civil servants they might be on vacation,or took some days off,i am not sure.What,s troubling to me is the fact that Chiyangwa and his team seem to be keeping cde Gumbo the party spokesperson in the dark.He is have to read the Herald just like us to know where the funding is coming from.

      • Tarubva

        I know, but look, Grace has always been travelling with two vehicles flanking her in town. Did we ever complain? No, because that is normal security she is entitled to. Michelle will never be allowed to travel on Air Force 1 alone, without Barack, going to a campaign event. Apart from that, her party does all the logistics. In this case, Grace is using the Presidential copter without the President, just think of it pal! And you seriously suggest that PAs, teachers, DAs…, seen at Grace’s rallies would have taken a day off? Seriously?

        • Zimbabwe United


          No interviews, please! Michelle Obama’s China trip questioned as she won’t take Q&A with reporters and only offers 2 true ‘open press’ events (out of 22 on her calendar).

          The first lady is taking her mother and daughters to three Chinese cities on a ‘people-to-people exchange’ trip at taxpayer expense.

          Only 2 out of 22 events on her calendar will give reporters the chance to hear her speak and do any real reporting – but without interviewing her
          No reporters are allowed to travel with the first lady on her government aircraft.

          The White House is declining to say how much the week-long excursion will cost.

          Mrs. Obama will appear for photo-ops and public events that are ‘pooled press’ – just one reporter or photographer noting her comings and goings.

          PUBLISHED: 17:41 GMT, 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 20:35 GMT, 19 March, 2014.

        • robzam

          She is not using the presidential helicopter but an Airforce helicopter just like Michelle will do.

      • uhuru

        judas thats the roblem we have trying to compare oursevles with other countries. Y cant we as Zimbos jus reason for ourselves that whats wrong is wrong nd whats right is right according to our very own situation. You cant possibly compare our situation with that of America, Zims economy is on a free fall and we cant afford to have our Ministers doing party biz @ such atym its wrong and we wont tolerate it.

        • robzam

          There is no comparison, apart from demystifying the myth that the First Lady is not entitled to certain privileges. Apart from fuel, all the others expenses are ongoing. Salaries of the pilots whether they travel or not will still be paid. Security personnel whether they are at state house or travelling will still be paid. All the other expenses of the campaign rallies are met by private funds.

      • robzam

        Cde Gumbo is not being kept in the dark, he is not sympathetic to the First Lady’s endeavours, given Gumbo’s factional lineage.

    • Gono

      civil servants support the ruling party by deed…..tht shld answer u fully….tinenge tichitori pagraft ipopaya….saka usanetseka zvako….

      • siyaso

        kkkkkkk so zvinenge zvichitofaya ipapo so. Ukasavapo watengesa

    • robzam

      You are misguided in your assertion that Ministers are Civil servants, they are just political figureheads whose main duties are to act as a bridge between government and party. This is why the head of a Ministry is the permanent Secretary. Tell me anywhere in the world where Ministers do not attend party rallies? The Conservatives and Liberal democrats ministers in the UK not only attend rallies but can spend days away from the office attending their party conferences, so do the Republicans and Democrats in America.

      There is nothing amiss with the First Lady being flown in an airforce helicopter, protocol demands that she enjoys the same benefits like the president apart from executive powers.

      When you peddle ignorance at the levels you are exhibiting, you might even start believing in your own hallucinations.

      • mpengo

        You’re the deluded one. Ministers are under the payroll of the Public Service Commission and designated civil servants.
        Your proclamations are empty and clueless.

        • robzam

          The deluded one is you, have you ever seen a contract of employment between the Public Service Commission and a government Minister Ministers and the President forms what is termed the Executive pillar of the state, if at all you understand that terminology. Not everybody who is paid by treasury is called a civil servant. None of those who occupy the three pillars of state is a civil servant, The executive and the parliament are accountable to the electorate not to your Public Service Commission. The judiciary is accountable to parliament.

  • punungwe

    Okay why don’t they lend that private money to government. Rather why don’t they use it for good causes like stocking clinics equipping schools, buying vehicles for the police and so on.

    These people don’t know what to so with their money.

    • robzam

      Private money by its very nature is private, the way one chooses to use it, is according to his/her own discretion. Why don’t you donate your own money to Government?

  • Zimbabwe United

    And the US debt is currently bigger than the US economy’s GDP.

    • Notruthintheworld

      But they have the capacity to service it ! A rich man can afford to borrow more than what he is worthy as long he is able to repay that debt. However, in Zim’s case, we have failed to pay to IMF and IMF and all the other Financial institutions do not want to hear the name Zimbabwe ! So your case is weak to argue with.

    • EFFNorth

      it’s not about the size of the debt, but your ability to service it.

  • punungwe

    Isn’t this the same Chiyangwa who was excluded from Mash West for being a destabilising force. Isn’t this the same Chiyangwa who was once fingered as a CIA/South African intelligence mole?

    Things are starting to look very suspicious to me now.

  • robzam

    Do you know what a civil servant is? That put aside, can you tell me of one country where Ministers do not attend to party functions during the course of their duties? Just for interest sake, what is your understanding about the duty of a Minister?

  • robzam

    People will always give you those examples because the majority of you regard them as the bastion of democracy and good system of governance.

  • robzam

    Which one is the first, if America is the second? Get your facts right.

    • Mela

      but i guess you got the point.

  • robzam

    Why should he, it’s a matter of choice. What candidate are you talking about? The First Lady is not competing with anybody, her post is already bagged.

  • Mimi

    There goes Chiyangwa trying to also sing for his supper, LOL

  • muchazviona

    You people whether you against Grace or not,whatever she is doing going around the country addressing those rallies. The truth is time shall come. The next president of Zimbabwe is known very secretly. Zvakataurwa kudhara izvo nema CIO. Munhu iyeye ari kutochengetwa nema CIO as i speak right now. Vanhu vese vakaunzwa kuti nyararai. Saka hapana nyaya apa. Inguva yavo regai vaite izvozvo. Hapana chisingaperi. President we Zimbabwe akawanikwa kare kare nema CIO. Big up to Zimbabwean intelligence. They know what they are doing. They are looking after the next President of Zimbabwe. Its going to be a surprise. Very young man looking to do everything for Zimbabweans. Mirai muone