FORMER Cabinet minister of Sport Makhosini Hlongwane and ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira have been summoned for questioning by the ICT parliamentary portfolio committee in light of Zifa loans worth more than $1million that were never paid back.
The duo is set to appear before the portfolio committee any day this week as they are persons of interest in the loan saga between POTRAZ and ZIFA
POTRAZ is said to have given a loan of $225 000 to ZIFA under the arrangement that Zifa was going to pay back, this money was meant to charter a flight for the warriors who were set to attend the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after their qualifying match against Guinea in Conakry in 2016 as Zifa had failed to raise money for air tickets and there was a possibility that the trip would be aborted.
It is alleged that four months later, POTRAZ is again said to have advanced ZIFA with $1million and this decision was made unanimously by the two ministers without the knowledge of the board, and according to ZIFA this money never got into their coffers.
Speaking at the ICT Committee meeting last week the Portfolio chairperson Charlton Hwende said that the committee requires answers and clarification on what transpired.
“The issue came from one of the sports committees and Potraz was mentioned. We have an official letter from the former chief executive officer of Zifa (Jonathan Mashingaidze) confirming that they had received $225 000, but the $1 million did not reach Zifa,” Hwende said.
“We intend to summon them (Mandiwanzira and Hlongwane) here because, obviously, these are public funds that must be recovered and we would want to find out the circumstances that led to this decision.”
Also,the Chief Executive Officer Joseph Mamutse together with the President of ZIFA Phillip Chiyangwa are to sit before the Committee, where they will be answerable to the $225 000 that they were give by POTRAZ and never paid back.
The Potraz Director said that on the 3rd of September 2016 the then Minister of Sport Makhosini Hlongwane wrote a letter to Potraz seeking assistance to fund the warriors and affirmed the regulatory body that the ZIFA would pay back the debt, and fearing national embarrassment and the disqualification of the warriors Potraz granted Zifa the loan.
Potraz director-general Dr Machengete indicated that the decision to release the money was not made by the board.
“The decision was not made by the board, but it was regularised by the board and the chairperson of the board was informed and copied with the letter,” Machengete said.