This follows a move by Zanu (PF) to select Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu to oversee the disbursement of the US$40 million for Bulawayo industries, implying that all applications by distressed companies have to go via his office.
The Zanu (PF) leadership in Matabeleland indicated that they want Mpofu to administer the fund on the basis that the party is the one that initiated the idea of resuscitating Bulawayo Industries.
MDC Bulawayo spokesperson, Edwin Ndlovu said: “As a party we are concerned that this is another attempt by Zanu (PF) to hijack this government project, the same way the party has hijacked other government projects like food distribution. They want to politicise this national programme.
“We have expressed our concern to the Industry and International Trade Minister who happens to chair a government committee on the resuscitation of Bulawayo industries on the need for the committee to issue a public statement on this so that companies are not misled by Zanu (PF) attempts to hijack this programme,” Ndlovu said in an interview.
“The Ministry of Industry and Trade should warn companies that they need not seek Zanu (PF) assistance in applying for the funds as implied by Zanu (PF) since they have chosen Mpofu to oversee the disbursement of the money.”
Zanu (PF) Bulawayo chairman, Isaac Dakamela refused to comment on the issue on Friday. Zanu-PF national chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo could not be reached for comment.
Biti told Bulawayo businesspeople during the launch US$40 million for the survival of Bulawayo industries under the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) that this a five year collaborative Facility between government and Old Mutual Zimbabwe.
The beneficiaries of the fund, Biti said, would be made public in his 2012 national budget statement towards year end.