Kereke’s vote-buying under fire
HARARE – Munyaradzi Kereke, a former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe advisor and now an aspiring senator, has been criticised for pumping $100 000 for the reburial of 50 freedom fighters in Bikita, in return for votes, at a time he has failed to pay his workers.
Kereke seems to be defying President Robert Mugabe who at the Zanu PF conference slammed rampant vote-buying in Zanu PF saying it was destroying the party.
Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa has also urged aspiring senators and parliamentarians to stop campaigning now to avoid chaos in the already divided party.
The Rock Foundation Medical Centre (RMC) founder, seeking election on a Zanu PF ticket, has reportedly made a donation of $100 000 for the reburial which has been denounced as cheap populism aimed at winning votes by his furious workers.
Under his re-election drive, Bikita district leaders would offer help on issues such as identification of graves, with the reburial fast-tracked within the next three months, perhaps to coincide with the election timetable.
Kereke did not respond to inquiries sent to him through phone yesterday.
He later insisted that he wanted the questions e-mailed to him just when the paper was about to go to print.
The workers, speaking on condition of anonymity fearing victimisation, slammed their boss’ priorities.
The plan, first reported in the state media, has attracted a barrage of harsh comments aimed at the Zimpapers board member, with many slamming him for claiming that he had decided to fund the reburial because MDC Finance minister Tendai Biti was declining to bankroll the project.
“There are hundreds of freedom fighters whose remains are lying in caves and unmarked graves throughout the country,” Kereke is quoted as saying.
“These are crying out for decent burials, but minister Biti has not been providing funding for such a noble cause.”
“It is surprising that we have a minister of Finance who is not willing to set aside even a small fund to finance the reburial exercise,” he said.
Kereke’s election drive has caused a buzz on social media, with many roundly slamming him.
One reader Kola, said: “Zanu PF had 28 years to rebury everyone before the GNU was formed, why didn’t they do it?
Why blame Biti for everything under the sun?”
Another reader called “General” was more scathing of Kereke, saying he should concentrate on rehabilitating roads and clinics in Bikita instead of reburying dead people.
“Ana Munyaradzi, by the way which road do you drive your vehicle going kwako kumakomba kuseri uko?
I know the road you pass through is in a mess, yakashata, haiite (It is bad). Ndotoshamiswa ini, dai iriyo yawagadzirisa hako nokupedzisa kiriniki iri mudziro memusha wako vanhu vabatsirike (I am surprised. You should have funded the construction of that road as well as the completion of the local clinic).
Mutengesimukuru said: “What they should be doing is investigating this guy for the source of that $100 000. Yesterday he could not pay his electric (sic) bill at the farm, today he has $100 000?!”
A reader named Shumba said: “Senators must really be elders, not young boys like Kereke. What advice can he give especially with all those controversies around him? In Bikita we know him very well, people must check his history and they will be shocked that he is not really Zanu PF. Go back to the days of the liberation struggle and you will understand what I mean.”
Said a Nyoni on Facebook: “Why is Kereke in the habit of attacking other people?
He is blasting Biti for not providing funds as if Biti is the first minister of Finance. He should know that national budgets are a collective issue so by implication he is attacking cabinet which approves budgets and projects.
“Let’s hope people of Bikita will not be blinded by these trinkets and Kereke’s childish manoeuvres. In any case, where is he getting the money when workers at his hospital are getting nothing?” – Staff Writer