Bona in-law pocketing $8m from govt project monthly
by: Parliament Correspondent
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s in-law is pocketing a whopping $7, 5 million every month from the government’s contested Dema emergency power plant, legislators were told on Monday.
A brother to the husband of President’s daughter Bona, Sakunda fuel company and Glasglow headquartered Aggreko are sharing the proceeds from the project whose tender was granted without due process.
Sakunda is owned by ruling Zanu PF member, Kuda Tagwirei, who is developing the project in partnership with President Mugabe’s in-law, Derrick Chikore.
The company is selling at least 100 megawatts a day to the debt-ridden Zesa Holdings in a three-year deal crafted to cushion the country from black-outs after power generation nose-dived attributed to El-Nino-induced low water levels at Kariba power station.
Zesa Holdings chief executive Josh Chifamba revealed this after being asked his views on the modalities leading to the granting of power tender to Sakunda and the amount already paid to the suppliers by the Mines and Energy committee this Monday.
“We can submit to you the actual amount paid but right now we can tell you that $8 million is owed to Dema.
“On average the bill should be $7,5 million per month,” said Chifamba.
Although it currently has a 200-megawatt capacity, Dema can supply only 100 megawatts at 15, 45 cents per kilowatt hour—a price regarded as too high compared to imports from South Africa’s Eskom which are pegged at 9, 74 cents per kilowatt hour.
Extraordinary govt concessions
Duty free diesel at a rate of 450,000 litres per day, duty free equipment worth $660 million and $15 000 for the producer licence are some of the favours the joint venture project is enjoying from the government which have sparked public outrage.
With the company operating also without Environmental Impact Assessment certificate, legislators demanded that Chifamba produce a copy of the project’s licence which is expected when conducting such business.
“I do not have the licence but I have a letter which is as good as a licence,” said Chifamba.
The legislators demanded that the organisation puts its house in order and resist excessive executive interference in its operations.
The dema project has been condemned by the opposition as “expensive and unsustainable” for the country.
“Sakunda was awarded the contract without going to tender, which according to the country’s laws is a serious criminal offence,” said the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when commenting on the project.
“It is clear that Zesa was forced to allow the Mugabe family to join feeding trough and Zanu PF’s gravy train by running the Dema power plant. Construction of the plant was supervised by officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet.”
The party added: “With the electricity generated from the Dema project expensive, it is sad to note that the ordinary consumer will be expected to foot the bill on behalf of the Mugabe dynasty.
“As the People’s Democratic Party, we are concerned that Mugabe’s has chosen the sacrifice the poor taxpayer in order to support his family and Zanu PF cronies who are now living large at the expense of the poor.”