…accuse him of abusing CSFAZ money to fund political campaign
27 March 2017, CHIREDZI – Smear campaigns and mudslinging seem to have gone a gear up ahead of the 2018 elections with Chiredzi West legislator, Darlington Chiwa teaming up with Addmore Hwarare to attack Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe (CSFAZ) secretary general, Raymond Bhila for allegedly misusing the organisation's money to fund his own political ambitions.
Bhila is suspected to be positioning himself to seize Chiredzi North constituency from Robert Mukwena in the 2018 general elections while Hwarare is also said to have set his sights on the same constituency.
The accusations also come in the wake of intense lobbying and jostling for positions ahead of elections at CSFAZ, with Bhila fighting to retain his position while Hwarare, who is the association's former chairperson, also gunning for a comeback.
Chiwa, who used to be secretary general of the association himself, told TellZim News that Bhila was abusing the association's money to further his own political agenda.
He also accused Bhila of firing CSFAZ administrator, Kumbirai Mapfiza, so as to clear the only obstacle that stood in his way towards total control of the organisation's funds. He also said Bhila dismissed Mapfiza so that he could act in that position himself and earn extra allowances.
"Bhila fired the administrator but farmers are busy dosing while their money is being used unwisely. He is now taking advantage of a weak treasurer at the association to have his own way.
"That's why he wants to be voted for as MP; he thinks all of us rose to power by swindling the association of its money. We worked an extra mile to be MPs and we didn't get there by abusing the association's money.
"It is sad that our legacy and all that we left and the capacity building that we thought had helped us to manage the association professionally is being eroded," charged an irate Chiwa.
Hwarare also added his voice, accusing Bhila of diverting association funds and giving himself hefty allowances.
"They are giving each other $100 a day in allowances which is about $2400 a month which he wishes to use in his election campaign. We were performed better than what they are doing," said Hwarare.
Bhila, a businessman and farmer, however, dismissed the allegations as nothing but a smear campaign.
"Let them speak. That's what they do during this campaigning period. I never fired the administrator but the council did because it has that responsibility.
"In fact, he was not fired; he was suspended after he had taken us to court to have his salary increased from $1000 to $5000 as gazetted by a previous executive member who opposed our constitution.
"I am the secretary general not the administrator so how can I be given those allowances? If there are any, we are given $50 and nothing close to those exaggerations," said Bhila
Bhila told TellZim News he has his own money and does not subsist on the little he gets at CSFAZ.politics