COURT documents have finally shown the significant chunk of properties owned by tycoon Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Obert Mpofu.
Source: Mpofu exposure calls for lifestyle audits – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 16, 2017
Comment: NewsDay Editor
This, however, is perhaps just a tip of the iceberg and most certainly points to the fact that many of his colleagues in government and Zanu PF are also owners of vast estates.
A few years back, it also emerged that Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo owned several properties across the country, after his then wife, Marian, filed for the dissolution of their marriage.
Zimbabwe Defence Force Commander General Constantino Chiwenga was also exposed by his then wife, Jocelyn, as the wealthy owner of real estate in upmarket areas of Harare before he applied for a court injunction barring the media from reporting on the matter.
No doubt there are many others like them.
Of interest, however, is the manner in which these top government officials acquired the up-market properties, particularly at a time when the majority of Zimbabweans are struggling to access housing.
There is no doubt that President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet is full of super-rich individuals, who ironically amassed their wealth soon after their appointment to ministerial positions.
Yet Mugabe has not bothered to have strict adherence to service delivery for the ministers.
Clearly, the revelation of super-rich ministers in Mugabe’s government calls for lifestyle audits for public officials, many of whom are suspected of using their privileges and access to power to accumulate obscene wealth at the expense of the public.
Is it not ironic that this is happening at a time ordinary people’s livelihoods are crumbling on the back of biting poverty spawned by Mugabe’s poor governance, tolerance for corruption and a political crisis?
Evidently, there is need to revisit our collective conscience as a country. All the lofty ideals that were preached at independence, meant to improve the lot of the ordinary man, have been thrown out of the window now with those in government using their political power to get rich pickings.
It is now an open secret that the government — right from the very top — has become corrupt and greedy, driven by the philosophy of “each man for himself and God for us all”.
As the ordinary people get increasingly impoverished, those at the top continue to enjoy a life of comfort, ease and luxury, while claiming they have the people’s mandate to preside over national impoverishment.
The powers-that-be are obviously reluctant to carry out lifestyle audits because they know the majority of officials in government will be smoked out and their under-the-table dealings, through which they have lined their pockets, exposed.
But this is important. As long as corruption and self-aggrandisement is handled with kid gloves, Zimbabwe may as well forget about development as a country.
We will continue to watch our neighbours progress and advance, while we remain stuck in stagnation.