Chombo’s properties a shock

OPINION – For the first time, the State mouthpiece, the Herald, has published the list of Ignatius Chombo’s alleged properties as noted in court papers submitted by his estranged wife. In the past, this has only been done by independent papers while State-owned media treated the subject as taboo or too dangerous to publish.\r\n

This may mean that Chombo is no longer regarded as a sacred cow and may even be on his way out of the favour of the powers that be in Zanu (PF). What is amazing about the disclosures is the fact that the minister of Local Government has property in virtually all the urban areas of this country. The properties range from commercial stands to low density mansions in all reputable residential areas of our major cities.

He also has at least two commercial farms and a lot of farm equipment. He has a lot of vehicles, even though some of them are non-runners.

The question the general public would like to be answered is how Mr. Chombo managed to acquire all these properties on a minister’s salary. Before joining government Chombo used to work for the University of Zimbabwe, which also pays slave wages that could not have been used to amass the properties he now owns. So, where did he get the money to acquire all these properties?

The second question that needs to be answered is whether, in fact, he paid any money for these properties. Is it possible that as minister of Local Government he may have just grabbed these properties and the relevant authorities were too scared to challenge him to pay for them? Worse still, was he allocated these properties by some local authorities as part of the usual Zanu (PF) looting scam?

The third question that begs an answer is why Robert Mugabe does not appoint a commission of inquiry into the acquisition of these properties by one of his ministers. With this third question we can speculate on some of the possible reasons why the President is reluctant to have Chombo investigated.

First, the two are home boys since they both come from Zvimba, and Mugabe would not like to be seen as undermining or exposing his “homie” in that fashion. Second, in this era of a compromise government, it would be politically costly for Zanu (PF) tom have one of its senior politicians investigated for corruption.

The third possible explanation is may be that what has been exposed about Chombo is but only a small part of what the majority of these Zanu (PF) looters have amassed over the years. I suspect that some of Chombo’s colleagues in the rotten party laugh their lungs out when they see the properties listed under his name. They may even express, “Is this all that he has acquired?” In other words, the nation could be shocked if the lists of all the properties that these looters have acquired were to be published.

It is sad that at his age, Mugabe no longer has the capacity to institute measures aimed at good governance in this country. I strongly suspect that soon after reading about these scandals perpetrated by his underlings, the President conveniently forgets the stories and fails to do anything about them.

This makes it rather difficult to believe that the 86-year-old young man is still governing this nation. Some say he spends most of his time snoozing while we think he is running the country. However, he wakes up very quickly whenever someone mentions that he could travel to some foreign country for whatever reason. May God help us all.