RBZ debt: Chapfika got $80k, never repaid

via RBZ debt: Chapfika got $80k, never repaid 20 September 2014

ONGOING public hearings by Parliament on whether tax-payers must take over the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s US$1,3 billion debt, could turn into a monumental farce after it emerged chair of the legislative committee leading the exercise, David Chapfika, was a beneficiary of the central bank’s controversial agro mechanisation scheme.

When challenged by NewZimbabwe.com over the allegations, Chapfika, who was deputy finance minister when the farming implements were being handed out, denied being a beneficiary – sort of.

The $200 million scheme, said by the opposition to have only benefitted top Zanu PF officials, was part of the widely condemned quasi-fiscal operations carried out by the central bank and blamed for stoking the debt beyond the bank’s capacity to repay.

Former reserve bank governor, Gideon Gono has previously refused to reveal the names of beneficiaries who have not paid for the equipment in hearings, telling a parliamentary select committee that such disclosure was illegal under the RBZ Act.

But Parliament’s portfolio committee on budget and finance is currently on a countrywide tour to gather public views on whether Treasury should assume the debt through the proposed RBZ Debt Assumption Bill.

Government’s takeover of the debt, Zimbabweans have been told, is aimed at easing the troubled apex bank’s liabilities to allow it to concentrate on its core functions.

But the outreach meetings have given agitated citizens a rare public platform to express their anger with Gono, architect of the quasi-fiscal activities carried out as the country battled a serious economic crisis some seven years ago.

During the meetings, angry citizens have not minced their words, telling the parliamentarians in their faces they should not be burdened with paying debts which were created through President Robert Mugabe’s patronage system.

Chapfika has diligently presided over the meetings where members of the public demanded that those who took agricultural equipment from the RBZ must be forced to pay for the implements.

It has however, emerged that the Mutoko South legislator was one of the beneficiaries who never paid for the equipment.

RBZ sources told NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend Chapfika’s benefits amounted to US$80,000, and that he was struggling to repay the debt.

The legislator is said to have helped himself to a monosem 4 Row planter, a Hastt 24 disc harrow, a brand new Massey Ferguson tractor and a motor bike among other items.

When Gono parcelled out the implements during the height of the country’s economic turmoil, Chapfika was deputy minister of finance, and the RBZ chief’s boss.

Asked about the allegations, Chapfika denied taking the agricultural equipment.

“Whether l benefited or not, but l did not benefit, this function (public outreach) is being carried out by parliament; it’s a statutory requirement that we do them,” he said.

“Look, here Chapfika never benefited but if l benefited, come and show me what l benefited but if l did like everyone else, obviously l should be called to account.”

Further challenged to clearly state whether he benefited or not, Chapfika turned abusive, accusing this reporter of becoming too personal with him.

He went on: “I am doing this in my capacity as chairman, it’s not Chapfika who is doing these public hearings, it’s the committee … we have been to Mutare, we have been to Bulawayo, to Gweru and today we are in Harare, as a committee not Chapfika.

“I just happen to be the chairperson – if l won’t be there somebody else assumes my position.”

The RBZ debt ballooned when Gono embarked on his populist farm mechanisation scheme, which saw mostly Zanu PF land beneficiaries receiving farm implements, some of which they exchanged for quick cash on the black market.

Zimbabweans feel the government must first go after those who owe the bank before extending the burden to the rest.

Mutare residents last week told Chapfika’s committee that individuals who benefited from various government programmes should pay back loans, including for machinery and equipment given to them.

“I don’t know why it is doing that. Why should us, taxpayers, fund someone’s personal projects? There are so many capable people who benefited from government’s programmes, these are the people who should be invoiced,” said one Regai Tsunga.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
  • comment-avatar
    Bull-Ant 6 years ago

    This is where we lost it and will continue to fail ourselves. We are above the laws and rules….it doesn’t work.

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    Chapfika and all the other looting rogues who go no let plunder will surely repay in one way or the other

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    One woukd have thought Chapfika would have recused himself from such a mission knowing fully well that he was compromised. But not these fat cats. They take Zimbabweans for granted and being fools. They know they can get away with it. There are no rules in Zombabwe.

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    farai 6 years ago

    Farmers are not the only ones who benefitted from RBZ capitalization schemes.
    industry got some help. local authorities did too, miners got some, the general public, remember BACCOSSI, benefitted. With only 1/6 of total amount owing, why all the hysteria over farm mechanisation?

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    farai 6 years ago

    The Zimbabwean government inherited legacy loans from the Rhodesian government. Lets get all the Rhodies who benefitted to pay up too. Sobber up people and understand what is at play here.à

    • comment-avatar
      JRR56 6 years ago

      Maybe if you could identify these (Legacy Loans) and what became of them you might have a leg to stand on.
      These Farm Mechanisation loans are proven to outright theft, nothing more! Every loan made to whichever industry should have been followed up on and not just brushed under the carpet. Trying to excuse any of them is verging on the criminal.

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      Zanu pathetic Standards 6 years ago

      Farai are you sure about defending this unfairness? You must be 100% Zanu PF, The sadest thing about Zanu PF is their low standard of justice, progress and freedom. They say elections without a voters roll are fair are free and fair,The partisan land reform is a success when there is no food security! They take a bleeding man to court for beating unscratched Zanu PF youths! China is an all whether friend that invests less in Zimbabwe than our neighbours who have no look east policy! The first lady is a doctor of philosophy when she is a Permenant Home Dweller.

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    Mambo 6 years ago

    The buck stops with Gono. Who benefitted from BACOSSI? He knows who got what and he needs to be brought before the courts.

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    The Zanu pf way is that if you steal you get promoted. Gono will be promoted. If you don’t you are stupid. It would have been a miracle if Chapfika was clean. This is just a their with a bone to pick with another thief. Show me a clean man in Zanu and I will show you a pig with horns.

    Dick Armey once said
    Three groups spend other people’s money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision.

  • comment-avatar
    farai 6 years ago

    Mr ZANU Pathetic standards, I can only assume by labelling me 100% ZANU-PF u think u are insulting me. I actually feel honored, I so wish I was.

    Farmers got $200 million and the rest of the economy $1 billion. I only ask, why the hysteria over farm mechanisation? I suspect a lot more was spent on local authority service delivery and in supported of the manufacturing sector than on farmers.