Presidents Fund was founded in March 1990. The organisation raises funds from local and international communities in order to administer grants and donations to various local causes.
At conception, The Fund was created in commemoration of 10 years of Independence, peace and stability in Zimbabwe. This organization is the brainchild of Mariam Oztanir and is convened under a Deed of Trust, listing several prominent members of the racing, business and Government sectors as its Trustees.
Awards issued by The Fund have been administered to:
Successful fundraising activities include: The annual Grand Charity Ball; auctions; international sponsorships (several championed by former ambassador to Ottawa, Florence Chideya); and notably, The Independence Trophy, sponsored by Mariam and Enver Oztanir and run annually on The Presidents Fund Race Day.
In 1996 Mariam Oztanir successfully obtained a licence from the Lotteries and Gaming Board to enable the Fund to operate the weekly game of Lotto. In June 1999, The Mashonaland Turf Club with its network of tote outlets, launched Lotto. Since then, the Presidents Fund Lotto has rapidly grown to be the largest game of its kind in the country and is recognised for its consistency, integrity, transparency and deep-rooted foundation. Lotto under Mashonalnd Turf Club continues to evolve and keep up with the rest of the world in both its day-to-day operations and in its commitment to improving the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Disbursement of funds is undertaken at frequent intervals, overseen by a Disbursement Committee comprised of Trustees, and the names of beneficiaries are published widely on various media platforms. With the introduction of a multi-currency regime in Zimbabwe in 2009, the Fund accumulated over US$4million for charitable purposes, including monthly donations as high as $953000. This amount was disbursed to a Vocational Training College Project that was established by the Lotteries and Gaming Board. As a result of the efforts and vision of Mariam Oztanir, the Fund which was established over 25 years ago, continues to achieve its objectives and is now a widely recognised and revered institution in Zimbabwe.