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$15bn was 'not looted only mispriced' Chinamasa tells BBC HardTalk

05 Jul 2016 at 19:28hrs | Views

"Zanu-PF remains a very solid, cohesive formidable political force in Zimbabwe," Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Zeina Badawi on the BBC programme Hardtalk. Zanu-PF is imploding given the raging factional wars that have torn the party apart and the economic meltdown that has seen rioting and protest sweep the nation.

Zeina tried to corner the Minister on the failing economy, the disastrous land reform, corruption, etc. but failed at every turn.  Programmes like Hardtalk only work when all parties accept hard facts; Minister Chinamasa's position was clear from start to finish if he could not blame anything on sanctions then deny it is true regardless of all the documented evidence. The Minister has come up with another explanation for the missing $15 billion from Marange diamonds.

"You are wrong to ascribe it (the looted $15 billion) to bad management," explained the Minis-ter. "Over the years there has been an economic loss arising from trade mispricing. You put it differently, you say looting but I would rather put it as mispricing!"

The bottom line, as far as the Minister was concerned, was the "mispricing" was not deliberate and, most important of all, there was no hind of corruption and not even one fat cat benefited from it. This is the exact opposite of what many independent bodies like Africa Partnership Canada, Global Witness and even  a number of Zanu-PF officials have been saying. Some of Minister Chinamasa's own Zanu-PF leaders have not only admitted there was a serious problem of looting in the diamond industry but went on to name some of the fat cats who have benefit-ed.

When Grace Mugabe launch her political bid to replace Mugabe as the next president in 2014 she set off by accused then VP Joice Mujuru of being corrupt and dealing in diamonds. Minister Kasukuwere and Minister Jonathan Moyo have since added the meat to the bone and accuse Mujuru of having looted "a chunk" of $15 billion worth of diamonds Robert Mugabe admitted was looted in his March 2016 interview on ZBC.   

Of course it is not only Joice Mujuru who has been looting most, if not all, Zanu-PF leaders have all taken their share of the looted wealth be it in seized former white-owned farms, corrupt busi-ness dealings, looting diamonds, etc. Robert Mugabe himself has pocketed billions from Ma-range diamonds and has used some of the cash to fund the party's every elaborate and expen-sive vote rigging schemes.  

The truth is mismanagement and corruption have been the milestones round the nation's neck that have dragged the national economy into this hell-hole and not the sanctions as Mugabe and his Ministers would have us.
Flying "ruvunambwa" (dog-killer) jackrabbit can junk and  turn on a six-pence!

Watching Minister Chinamasa going through his well exercised routine of dodging questions and denying black is black on Hardtalk  was like watching the junking jackrabbit nicknamed "ruvhunambwa" (dog-killer),  it can turn on a six-pence to escape the snapping jaws of the dog. Ruvunambwa are known to run straight into a tree and junk the last step leaving an inexperience to plough straight into the tree and break its back hence the well-earned nickname!

As long as Zanu-PF remain in power; unless meaningful democratic reforms are implemented the regime will continue to rig elections and stay in power; no one will ever hold Mugabe and his cronies to account over anything because they will just deny everything. Mugabe has never held free and fair elections as one of his former Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa admitted recently. Zeina Badawi did not bother ask our ruvunambwa about rigged elections because he would certainly have denied that one. She asked him about Mugabe's refusal to name a successor which is causing all the political turmoil in Zanu-PF itself as factions fight for power.  

"Each country has the right to travel its own path in history," responded Minister Chinamasa. "And in the case of our President, yes he is 92, but you must also know the long path he has travelled almost since 1958. So he has definite views about the destiny of Zimbabwe and he remains in place to ensure that the trajectory he set for Zimbabwe remains even after he is gone."

Mugabe's legacy is that he destroyed the country's once promising economy setting new world records of 500 billion per cent inflation rate, setting unemployment soaring to 80% plus and keeping it there for over decade, allowing $15 billion (that will turn out to be only the ears of the hippo) which is more that the nation $14 billion GDP to be looted, etc.  On the political front, he has murdered over 30 000 Zimbabweans to establish and retain his de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship. This is not the path the people want to follow!

One of these fine days when we finally have free, fair and credible elections and regime change; this Mugabe dictatorship is on its finally legs as demonstrated by the recent events of rioting and street protest sweeping the nation, the nation and the whole world will know the truth about Mugabe and this regime. The will know he is a corrupt and murderous tyrant who has systemat-ically brutalized the nation denying the people their freedoms and basic rights including the right to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life!

The winds of change are blowing in Zimbabwe and not even the most cunning and ruthless dictator like Mugabe and his cronies can stop the change whose time has come. The people of Zimbabwe have waited for 36 years for a free, just and prosperous Zimbabwe, they will not be denied the political change that is long overdue.

Wilbert Mukori <

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