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Anti-Graft Commission Investigates 'Shady' Indigenization Deals Linked to Minister Kasukuwere

Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere. (Photo: Minister's Official Twitter Account)

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is allegedly investigating irregularities in indigenization deals crafted by Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere when he was running the Ministry of Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment between 2009 and 2013.

According to the independent NewsDay newspaper, the anti-graft commission is also targeting the National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board, which hired a company, Brainworks, at a cost of $500 per hour to broker community ownership schemes with various companies.

Brainworks was allegedly hired without following proper tender procedures. The company was expected to net about $26 million in the form of 2 percent commissions after collecting money from individual firm if the deal did not collapse. This excludes the $500 per hour deal.

Anti-Corruption Commission spokesperson, Phyllis Chikundura, told the newspaper that the probe, which is expected to unearth alleged irregularities in the collection and disbursement of the funds sourced from foreign-owned companies, is continuing and expected to widen its scope of investigations.

Kasukuwere is quoted by NewsDay scoffing at the alleged investigation, noting that he had a clean track record.

“For all my past deeds, my present and the future, I am ready for scrutiny,” he said.

Under Zimbabwe's black economic empowerment program, foreign-owned companies are expected to transfer 51 percent equity stakes to indigenous people. But some companies have proposed transferring empowerment credits of varying amounts to locals.