Tuesday, 5 July 2016

$15 b was "not looted but mispriced" (ruvunambwa) Chinamasa tells BBC Hardtalk By Wilbert Mukori

“Zanu PF remains a very solid, cohesive formidable political force in Zimbabwe,” Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Zeina Badawi on the BBC programme Hardtalk. Zanu PF is imploding given the raging factional wars that have torn the party apart and the economic meltdown that has seen rioting and protest sweep the nation.

Zeina tried to corner the Minister on the failing economy, the disastrous land reform, corruption, etc. but failed at every turn.  Programmes like Hardtalk only work when all parties accept hard facts; Minister Chinamasa’s position was clear from start to finish if he could not blame anything on sanctions then deny it is true regardless of all the documented evidence. The Minister has come up with another explanation for the missing $15 billion from Marange diamonds.

“You are wrong to ascribe it (the looted $15 billion) to bad management,” explained the Minister. “Over the years there has been an economic loss arising from trade mispricing. You put it differently, you say looting but I would rather put it as mispricing!”

The bottom line, as far as the Minister was concerned, was the “mispricing” was not deliberate and, most important of all, there was no hind of corruption and not even one fat cat benefited from it. This is the exact opposite of what many independent bodies like Africa Partnership Canada, Global Witness and even  a number of Zanu PF officials have been saying. Some of Minister Chinamasa’s own Zanu PF leaders have not only admitted there was a serious problem of looting in the diamond industry but went on to name some of the fat cats who have benefited.

When Grace Mugabe launch her political bid to replace Mugabe as the next president in 2014 she set off by accused then VP Joice Mujuru of being corrupt and dealing in diamonds. Minister Kasukuwere and Minister Jonathan Moyo have since added the meat to the bone and accuse Mujuru of having looted "a chunk" of $15 billion worth of diamonds Robert Mugabe admitted was looted in his March 2016 interview on ZBC.   

Of course it is not only Joice Mujuru who has been looting most, if not all, Zanu PF leaders have all taken their share of the looted wealth be it in seized former white-owned farms, corrupt business dealings, looting diamonds, etc. Robert Mugabe himself has pocketed billions from Marange diamonds and has used some of the cash to fund the party’s every elaborate and expensive vote rigging schemes. 

The truth is mismanagement and corruption have been the milestones round the nation’s neck that have dragged the national economy into this hell-hole and not the sanctions as Mugabe and his Ministers would have us.


Flying “ruvunambwa”(dog-killer) jackrabbit can junk and  turn on a six-pence!

Watching Minister Chinamasa going through his well exercised routine of dodging questions and denying black is black on Hardtalk  was like watching the junking jackrabbit nicknamed “ruvhunambwa” (dog-killer),  it can turn on a six-pence to escape the snapping jaws of the dog. Ruvunambwa are known to run straight into a tree and junk the last step leaving an inexperience to plough straight into the tree and break its back hence the well-earned nickname!

As long as Zanu PF remain in power; unless meaningful democratic reforms are implemented the regime will continue to rig elections and stay in power; no one will ever hold Mugabe and his cronies to account over anything because they will just deny everything. Mugabe has never held free and fair elections as one of his former Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa admitted recently. Zeina Badawi did not bother ask our ruvunambwa about rigged elections because he would certainly have denied that one. She asked him about Mugabe’s refusal to name a successor which is causing all the political turmoil in Zanu PF itself as factions fight for power.  

“Each country has the right to travel its own path in history,” responded Minister Chinamasa. “And in the case of our President, yes he is 92, but you must also know the long path he has travelled almost since 1958. So he has definite views about the destiny of Zimbabwe and he remains in place to ensure that the trajectory he set for Zimbabwe remains even after he is gone.”

Mugabe’s legacy is that he destroyed the country’s once promising economy setting new world records of 500 billion per cent inflation rate, setting unemployment soaring to 80% plus and keeping it there for over decade, allowing $15 billion (that will turn out to be only the ears of the hippo) which is more that the nation $14 billion GDP to be looted, etc.  On the political front, he has murdered over 30 000 Zimbabweans to establish and retain his de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship. This is not the path the people want to follow!

One of these fine days when we finally have free, fair and credible elections and regime change; this Mugabe dictatorship is on its finally legs as demonstrated by the recent events of rioting and street protest sweeping the nation, the nation and the whole world will know the truth about Mugabe and this regime. The will know he is a corrupt and murderous tyrant who has systematically brutalized the nation denying the people their freedoms and basic rights including the right to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life!

The winds of change are blowing in Zimbabwe and not even the most cunning and ruthless dictator like Mugabe and his cronies can stop the change whose time has come. The people of Zimbabwe have waited for 36 years for a free, just and prosperous Zimbabwe; they will not be denied the political change that is long overdue.


  1. Minister Chinamasa has lied about the looting in Marange to cover up for the evil taking place there, this is not the first time.

    Early last year he said his ministry was not getting any revenue from Marange and Chiadzwa because there was no alluvial diamonds left. Later in the year, just before going to USA to meet IMF officials, he change his story and admitted there was still a hive of activity in Marange and Chiadzwa he was not getting any revenue because the industry was experiencing some financial difficulties and the government has granted them tax exemption whilst they sort themselves out!

    The truth is government has collected very little revenue from the diamond industry because the Junta in the name of the Joint Operations Command has cornered all the wealth from Marange and Chiadzwa for the exclusive benefit of the few. The wholesale looting that has been going on in Marange and Chiafzwa is one of the worse in human history.

    I agree, when the full story of the looting in Marange and Chiadzwa is finally told, the $15 billion will be seen for what it is - the ears of the hippo!

    I hope that attention will be paid to the full role that people like Minister Chinamasa have played in this complicated Zanu PF tapestry of corruption, tyranny and deceit. As Minister the nation expected him to serve the nation and not the murderous tyrant in this shameless and shameful way.

    No doubt he was rewarded by the tyrant for his blind loyalty; the nation must leave no stone unturned in recovering every penny it can from these cold-hearted Zanu PF thugs, cronies and their families and friends who have grown fat on the misery of the people!

  2. It is one thing for Minister Chinamasa and President Mugabe to use their ruvunambwa junking skills to deny there is corruption in the country but it is another matter when one looks at the cost in treasure, sweat and blood the nation is paying do not addressing this serious problem with the seriousness and urgency it demands.

    This Zanu PF regime was using its cunning to rig elections and deny the people their right to a meaningful vote. The nation is in this political and economic mess because the people could not vote for regime change, Mugabe rigged the vote to ensure that will never happen.

    By denying the people the opportunity to achieve meaningful peaceful regime change the tyrant, like it or not, left the people with no other choice but to use violence to achieve regime change. The violence Mugabe invited on the nation has now started; the fire of rebellion is now lit and it will burn until there is regime change. If the tyrant continues to try to hang on to power then he must know that he and his henchmen will be removed even if that means as burnout ashes.

    Because it was President Mugabe and his tyrannical regime who have forced this path of violent rebellion on the nation it is them who will pay the bill for all the property and human suffering and lives lost in the rebellion!

  3. I agree Zeina Badawi let Chinamasa off the hook far too easily. She should pressed Chinamasa to reveal how much it costed the nation to fly Bona and her entourage to the Far East and stay there for over a month after her baby was born? And how much he paid the Ministry of Health for the health needs of the rest of the country's 13 million in the same month?

    The regime complains that it has no money and yet the ruling elite are spending money as if there is no tomorrow!

    One only hopes that the West will not be fooled into giving Zanu PF more money because the regime will waste the money as usual and pile up the national debt!