IN his first post-election speech at State House in Harare on 27 August 2023 after winning Zimbabwe’s shambolic polls which were roundly condemned by local and international observers, President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa stated the most important priority of his second term in office: “the consolidation of food security”.
But in this special investigation, The NewsHawks can report that Zimbabwe will find it difficult to attain sustainable food security as long as the elephant in the room is not tackled: the nexus between dodgy political leaders who control the public purse and their corporate cronies.
Four years after the Auditor-General raised alarm over Command Agriculture, no forensic audit has been conducted. Zanu PF used its parliamentary majority to thwart open discussion of the scandal, meaning billions of dollars are still unaccounted for. Today, on the back of another parliamentary election “victory” in the 23 and 24 August polls, the ruling party is not under pressure to push for an official probe.
In this new investigation, we have managed to exclusively get a term sheet for a Command Agriculture contract agreement between the government of Zimbabwe and Sakunda Holdings, a company owned by President Mnangagwa’s adviser Kudakwashe Tagwirei. This particular deal totalled more than US$300 million.
The previously unpublished material sheds light into how the opaque public procurement contracts were structured – without open tender and without value-for-money diligence. We also show how a chain of middlemen was handpicked for the supply of farming inputs under murky arrangements which have burdened taxpayers with a hefty debt.
Former Finance minister Tendai Biti says only an impartial judicial commission of inquiry can get to the bottom of the billions of US dollars which remain unaccounted for. Please read the full Exclusive report: