February 25, 2020

GMB, Musarara clash over ‘missing’ US$8 million

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

After months of continuous haggling, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) finally appeared in parliament on Tuesday along with Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officials.

They appeared before the Justice Mayor Wadyajena chaired Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement parliamentary portfolio committee to give an update on the financing of the country’s silo repairs and the US$27 million wheat facility GMAZ received from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Musarara claimed that GMAZ gave GMB a loan of eight million U.S. dollars to refurbish the country’s silos, but, GMB Operations Manager, Clemence Guta denied this.

“We have a term sheet which sets the basis upon which GMAZ would consider financing GMB for it to rehabilitate, repair and maintain its silos. The funds were deposited in a forex account with Metbank. Only the Ministry of Finance had signing powers to the account. I confirm that we did deposit an amount of USD$9 million,” Musarara said.

Guta disagreed saying, “We financed silo repairs through grain sales”.

He added, “The money we received from GMAZ was for the purchase of grain”.

“Two reasons why we say we never got a loan from GMAZ are that firstly, according to the Public Finance Management Act we are supposed to get authority to borrow, which authority we never solicited for and we never had that authority,” Guta added.

Musarara was summoned by the Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda through police summons to appear before the parliamentary portfolio committee.

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