Chinamasa Defends Obert Mpofu's Wealth After MPs Call For Probe5 years ago
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa defended Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu after Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi (MDC-T) and Norton MP Mr Temba Mliswa (Independent) called for a probe into Mpofu’s acquisition of several assets, including mines, which they argued he could have bought them during his tenure as Minister of Mines and Mining Development.
Chinamasa dismissed the allegations which he said lacked merit since Mpofu accumulated much of his wealth before joining Government. Said Chinamasa:
I first met Honourable Mpofu around 1984 when I was going to Gaborone, Botswana, with my family for a visit. We met at Plumtree and he was already a businessman. Later on, when I was an Attorney-General, I think I wanted to speak to him and he took me to his building. He had already bought it in 1998 – a very expensive building in Bulawayo. I am just telling you of facts that I know. I cannot defend him if there is anything or any monkey business. You know where the problem is Honourable Maridadi? We are not accustomed to see a rich African. We are very much comfortable to see a rich white person, but when we see a rich black man, we conclude that he is a thief. This is not a fair comment.Feedback
Minister Chinamasa said there was nothing wrong with Mpofu owning a mine. Said Chinamasa:
I know some honourable members here who own mines. So, if one day you are appointed a Minister and you own a mine, I do not see any problem. Let us get used to people owning assets — it is not evil. So, we do not want people to be disqualified because they own assets. Let us take, for example, Tillerson. He was in the oil business, was he not? Tillerson, the State Secretary in the United States of America’s government, he is himself probably a billionaire or something. In fact, in that Cabinet there are billionaires, they have got assets, but they declare the assets and pursue the national interest.
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