Mugabe and cronies are looting – Makoni

HARARE – Opposition Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader, Simba Makoni has accused President Robert Mugabe and his allies of looting the country's wealth, calling for a full probe into the source of their ill-gotten gains

Makoni was speaking to journalists soon after addressing a paltry 100 odd people who attended one of his presidential campaign rallies in Harare’s Warren Park suburb, Saturday afternoon.

The former Finance minister said the list of assets which belong to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, a top Mugabe ally, was “terrible and disgraceful”. The assets were revealed in Friday’s Herald newspaper.

Chombo’s multi-million dollar fortune was made public knowledge when his former wife Marian went to court to seek for a share of the estate.

These included cars, houses and residential stands in low and high-density suburbs countrywide, farmland, farming equipment and companies.

“They should be investigated," Makoni said. "I dare say it should not be limited to just one person. All of them from Robert Mugabe to the last deputy minister should submit themselves to a public disclosure of what they own and how they acquired it.

“We are as shocked as the rest of the population. The question how they managed to acquire that has a very simple answer – by abuse of office.

“That is why they clamour for high office so that they can abuse, exploit and extort from the high positions. I dare say he (Chombo) is not the only one and there are others who are worse or better depending on how you regard it than him.”

He added: “Investigation and disclosure of how people acquired these assets and vehicles is very important for transparent, honest leadership that is serving the people and not being served by the people.”

Makoni, once part of the gravy train when he was a Zanu PF politburo member and cabinet minister in Mugabe’s government, said he would volunteer to become the first to be investigated if this would be extended to everyone.

He accused Mugabe of throwing away his party’s leadership code drawn soon after independence, to allow his cronies to siphon wealth from the country uninhibited.

“The leadership code was thrown out of the window as soon they got into office because they realised it was going to constrain their avarice and greed,” he said.

Makoni, who broke away from Zanu PF on the eve of the 2008 harmonised elections to form a coalition of independent candidates, said Zimbabweans should stand up and demand a free and fair election next year, saying Mugabe would manipulate the process to his favour.

“The election will not be credible if the same reckless, greedy and cruel people are allowed to have their way,” he said. “Robert Mugabe will not create a free and fair election in Zimbabwe because that will not work to his favour or Morgan Tsvangirai’s. So it is in our hands not to be forced to participate in elections that will not reflect our will.”