If you needed an insight into how Zanu PF corruption and plunder has enriched several of its ministers and activists look no further than Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.
They say ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ and it has taken an acrimonious property-sharing wrangle between Chombo and his wife Marian to expose just how rich the Minister has become thanks to his abuse of authority and corruption.
The Minister has been separated from his wife for the past FOUR years and their messy divorce in the High Court is dishing out all sort of dirt.
Although they agreed to divorce they have failed to reach a settlement on the sharing of vast properties spread countrywide despite several pre-trial conferences.
According to Marian Chombo below is a list of all the properties that her husband has ‘acquired’ over the years;
4 Toyota Land Cruisers
3 Mercedes Benzes
2 Nissan Wolfs
1 Toyota Vigo
1 Mazda BT-50
1 Nissan Hardbody
1 Toyota Hilux
2 Glen View houses
2 flats in Queensdale
A property in Katanga Township
Stand Number 1037 Mount Pleasant Heights
4 Norton business stands
3 Chinhoyi business stands
4 Banket business stands
1 commercial stand in Epworth
2 residential stands in Chirundu
4 commercial stands in Kariba
1 stand in Ruwa
1 stand in Chinhoyi
2 stands in Mutare
2 stands in Binga
4 stands in Victoria Falls
1 stand in Zvimba Rural
Chitungwiza (two residential and two commercial stands)
Beitbridge (four stands)
20 stands in Crow Hill, Borrowdale
10 stands in Glen Lorne
2 flats at Eastview Gardens (B319 and B320)
1 flat at San Sebastian Flats in the Avenues, Harare
Number 79 West Road, Avondale
Number 36 Cleveland Road, Milton Park
Number 135 Port Road, Norton
2 Bulawayo houses
Number 18 Cuba Rd, Mount Pleasant
Number 45 Basset Crescent, Alexandra Park
2 Chegutu houses
1Glen Lorne house (Harare)
2 houses (Victoria Falls)
Stand along Simon Mazorodze Road
Norton (one stand)
Avondale (two stands)
365 Beverly House (one stand)
Bulawayo (three stands)
Mica Point Kariba (one stand)
Marian Chombo wants the court to share farming equipment at New Allan Grange Farm including three tractors, two new combine harvesters, two boom sprayers and two engines.
She is also seeking an order compelling Minister Chombo to cede to her shares in the family’s 10 companies including Dickest, Hamdinger, Landberry and Track in Security Company.
Mrs Chombo, in her court papers, is also claiming cattle at Darton Farm, shared chicken runs, pigsties, a shop, grinding mill, house, mills, tractors, lorries, six trucks, five of which are non-runners, four trailers (three non-runners) and one truck.
She added that other interests were the Mvurwi Mine, hunting safari lodges in Chiredzi, Hwange, Magunje and Chirundu as well as properties in South Africa.
The MDC meanwhile issued the following statement in response to the revelations on Chombo’s wealth.
The published part of the vast personal asset register of Ignatius Chiminya Chombo ,a close ally of Robert Mugabe, a senior Zanu PF politburo member and a Cabinet minister, arising from his marriage dispute before the High Court, clearly points to his unsuitability for public office. The salary and benefits of Cabinet ministers are a matter of public record. There is no way a single, honest person in high office could have managed to acquire such treasure, other than through abuse of office.
It is without doubt that Chombo, a former teacher, neither inherited the wealth nor ever owned a business empire to justify personal ownership of such a sickening amount of wealth. Before his appointment to government, slightly more than a decade ago, Chombo’s claim to property was a smallholding in the former African purchase area of Chitomborwizi near Chinhoyi.
In the absence of an explanation of how he managed to acquire such an obscene array of properties from Chirundu to Chiredzi; from Victoria Falls to Mutare; a fleet of top of the range vehicles and commercial trucks; 10 companies; commercial farms; mines and safari lodges, Chombo must simply be relieved of his official duties and called to account as he is clearly unfit for public office.
Mugabe seems to shield Chombo. After the Harare City Council reported him to the police in April 2010 for his involvement in shady deals in the city, involving an irregular acquisition of more than 20 hectares of prime land in the plush suburb of Helensvale, the police ignored the complaint and never mounted a criminal investigation.
The MDC understands that Chombo’s assets are merely a tip of the iceberg, compared to the collective loot that the entire top Zanu PF leadership holds as personal and family estates. There are numerous reports of other senior leaders owning literally whole towns, like Rusape and Victoria Falls.
That Chombo has been able to acquire such booty in such a short period of time makes nonsense claims by Mugabe and Zanu PF that travel restrictions on their senior party leadership are the prime cause of Zimbabwe’s slide into an economic abyss.
The MDC has been vindicated by the latest expose inside Zanu PF. The party has always maintained that Zanu PF politicians often raid state coffers and national assets for personal use. It is now clear from the latest case that the collapse of Zimbabwe was authored and promoted by Zanu PF through unbridled asset-stripping, corruption, violence and dictatorship, as evidenced by the revelations emanating from the domestic tiff between Chombo and his ex-wife, Marian, which is now spilling out into the public domain.
Under an MDC government, no public official can get away with such greed and avarice. Inside the MDC family, our leaders have signed a code of ethics and values; and have declared their private property and assets for public scrutiny.
On a national scale, the MDC calls for a comprehensive inquiry into the private interests of all senior Zanu PF leaders and senior public officials, from any other sections of our society, to ascertain the impact of the looting that has taken place in Zimbabwe during the past 30 years. Only through a judicial commission of inquiry can Zimbabweans, in the public interest, be able to know fully the plunderers of their national heritage and finite resources.