Chinamasa accused of diverting funds from Forestry Commission to Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) chaired by his wife

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is accused of nepotism after he allegedly abused his office to divert reforestation funds from the Forestry Commission to the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB), which is chaired by his wife, Monica.

The accusation was made by Forestry Commission acting general manager, Abednico Marufu when he appeared before the Wonder Mashange-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment. He accused Chinamasa of moving the Afforestation Fund to TIMB without consulting his commission and in contravention of a Cabinet resolution. Said Marufu:

In 2015, the Minister of Finance announced that there was going to be an afforestation levy and we were told to open a bank account, which was specifically for the Afforestation Fund and to prepare a constitution on how it is going to be utilised, but we were surprised that the Cabinet decision to give the Forestry Commission custody of the fund was later changed and given to TIMB. This decision was made by the Minister of Finance, and we never saw any document from Cabinet rescinding that decision for us to administer the fund. We read about it in the Press and when we approached the ministry, they told us that the fund is now going to be administered by TIMB.

More: NewsDay

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