Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE director of sports in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Eugenia Chidhakwa has been accused of massive looting of equipment and goods meant for the 2014 African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games that were held in Bulawayo.
Chidhakwa, whom intelligence sources also identified as the architect behind moves to move the Games away from Bulawayo after covertly organising a meeting between the now late Ausc Region 5 secretary-general Mvuzo Mbebe and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru to influence in the presidium, declined to respond to the allegations.
She instead referred Chronicle Sport to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Thokozile Chitepo, who was also coy.
The late former President Robert Mugabe exposed the underhand plans to move the event from Bulawayo to Harare during the official torch lighting ceremony of the 2014 Games at State House.
“So if the VP can say yes, she will be the right person to go to the President with the strong view, what is that? I would never have accepted it and I am glad she (Mujuru) rebuffed him (Mbebe) and said no,” he said.
Chidhakwa is accused of taking a PlayStation, projector, laptops, television set, takkies and VIP jackets.
She allegedly claimed the jackets were for House of Assembly members.
Sources said when one member of the local organising committee reminded her that the items were supposed to be part of the Games’ legacy to the City of Bulawayo, she said the Games were for Zimbabwe and Bulawayo was just a host.
The items ‘taken’ by Chidakwa are part of those delivered at the insistence of local organising committee chairperson Thokozani Ncube and her chief executive officer Elkannh Dube after the Games ended.
The auditors reported that Loc operations received goods and services amounting to US$114 613.03 after the official closure of the Games and the goods included PlayStation consoles, shoes, televisions, bunk beds, tracksuits and goods worth US$38 617 paid for before dissolution of the Loc.
“May you kindly send the allegations to the accounting officer who is the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Dr Chitepo,” Chidhakwa said in her response to Chronicle Sport.
When reminded that the allegations were against her person and not the ministry, Chidhakwa said: “I am a government official and the route I requested you to follow is the route that should be followed to get the responses”.