Billy Rautenbach denies corruption accusations by Zanu PF Youths

Billy Rautenbach

HARARE – Controversial Zimbabwean businessman Billy Rautenbach has denied all corruptions claims leveled against him by Zanu PF youths leaders.

In a statement issued through his company, the Ethanol producer, Green Fuel Private Limited has dismissed as false recent allegations by the suspended Zanu-PF secretary for the commissariat Godfrey Tsenengamu that the company was engaged in corrupt and unethical business practices to obtain a monopoly in ethanol blending, pointing out that there is already a competitor.

The company said prices for ethanol were set by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority. 

In a statement yesterday, the company said the statements made by Tsenengamu were false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory.

“In light of the false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory statements made by Godfrey Tsenengamu on the 3rd of February 2020 in which he inferred and alleged that Green Fuel (Private) Limited had engaged in corrupt and unethical business practices to obtain a ‘monopoly in ethanol blending’ and that Green Fuel’s ethanol is expensive thereby spiralling the price of petrol upwards,’ Green Fuel would like to advise and respond as follows:

“Green Fuel does not have a monopoly in ethanol production or blending. It is common knowledge that any entity who meets the necessary statutory requirements detailed within the Petroleum (Mandatory Blending of Anhydrous Ethanol with Unleaded Petrol) Regulations, 2013, can apply and obtain a licence for the purpose of supplying ethanol for mandatory blending. 

“To this effect, it is a well-known fact that a joint venture established between Triangle Limited and the National Oil Infrastructural Company (NOIC) has also been supplying ethanol for mandatory blending purposes since 2017,” reads the statement.

The company said the price of their ethanol was regulated and approved by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, just like the prices of petrol and diesel. 

“Green Fuel’s ethanol price has at all times remained significantly cheaper than the petrol pump price. As a consequence, when blended with petrol, it actually brings the petrol pump price down, translating into consumer savings. The use of ethanol, being a substitute for imported petrol, also results in foreign currency savings at a national level. This saved foreign currency can then be used for other critical imported products such as fertilizer, electricity, maize etc.

“In addition to reducing the petrol pump price and saving foreign currency, Green Fuel’s project has also contributed to the nation’s socio-economic development through the creation of thousands of jobs, local skills development, renewable power generation, improving the availability of petrol, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and rural and community development through the company’s extensive corporate social responsibility programme. We refer you to Green Fuel’s website for more information,” the company said.

Last week, the Zanu PF Politburo suspended deputy secretary for youth, Lewis Matutu and Tsenengamu for indiscipline after they violated party procedure by convening a Press conference accusing prominent businessmen of corruption.

Zanu PF has also removed Pupurai Togarepi from his post as secretary for the Youth League.

Togarepi will, however, remain a Central Committee member while Matutu and Tsenengamu  revert to being ordinary card-carrying members.