ZIMBABWE People First (ZimPF) Vice President Munacho Mutezo has been fired from the opposition party after failing to repay a US$300 000 loan he got from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through the controversial Farm Mechanisation Programme.
The expulsion is with immediate effect.
Retired Brigadier-General Agrippa Mutambara is the President of the ZimPF.
Stephen Mazanza, the party spokesperson confirmed to the NewZimbabwe the expulsion of Mutezo accusing him of breaching ZimPF constitution.
“It has come to our attention that our Vice President Eng. Munacho Mutezo benefited from the controversial Farm Mechanisation Programme, which dished out millions of public funds to senior Zanu-PF, well-connected individuals and government officials,” he said.
“Due to his failure to repay this loan we have decided to terminate his membership with immediate effect,” reads Mazanza’s letter. Mutezo accessed more than US$300 000 from the RBZ between 2007 and 2008 through the programme.”
Mutezo is accused of having breached Article 14 (36)(4) of the ZimPF constitution.
“It is a long-standing company policy that is essential for our image and zero tolerance on corruption to terminate membership of any individual who misappropriates public funds.
“Even though you have currently been our constitutionally elected vice president, the proof of your deception only came to our attention early this week. We discovered that you deceived us about your real intentions of wanting to rebuild Zimbabwe’s shattered economy. You failed to tell us about your bad credit record, through Ferncarry Farm you Mr Mutezo took US$335,181.00 of taxpayers’ money and never bothered to return it, causing untold suffering to our supporters.
“That was an important factor for us to learn in the thorough background checks we conducted since your position is in presidium where you would have had easy access to State money,” adds Mazanza.
Hundreds of serving and former senior Zanu PF and government officials received millions US dollars as loans through the RBZ Farm Mechanisation Programme. However, most of the beneficiaries have not repaid the loans, according to an expose’ published by UK-based lawyer Zimbabwean lawyer, Alex Magaisa.
A former Zanu PF MP in Chimanimani and Cabinet Minister, Mutezo was expelled from Zanu PF in 2016 on charges of supporting then Vice President Joice Mujuru’s bid to replace the now late Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president.