Jonathan Moyo, the controversial Zanu PF politburo member and minister for higher and tertiary education has denied damaging allegations from fellow members of the divided party that he took money from Americans to fund the STEM scholarship programme.
John Holder, a member of the opposing Lacoste faction led by vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa in the race to succeed ailing dictator Robert Mugabe (92) asked Moyo in parliament who is funding STEM and wondered whether this was not funded by the United States government funded United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“It is funded by the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF),” Moyo said after being summoned at short notice to explain the STEM project, which has become the target of factional politicians opposed to Moyo’s recent decision to join the Grace Mugabe faction known as G40. “ZIMDEF has set aside US$4 million initially to underwrite this programme, but if all the 8 967 students who have in fact passed O’ Level with a C or better in the STEM subjects register, we will need more than US$4 million and contingency measures have been taken to cater for that so that should that issue arise, it will not be an insurmountable challenge for ZIMDEF.”
Information permanent secretary George Charamba ordered Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to stop flighting STEM advertisements last week as the war between the factions intensified. Primary and secondary education permanent secretary, Silvia Utete-Masango issued a statement disavowing the programme launched on 27 January 2016 by Mugabe.
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