Last week Zimbabwe’s Minister of finance Patrick Chinamasa confirmed that Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown is getting completely out of hand. The regime is now spending 97% of the collected revenue on civil servant wages alone, for example, up from 80% last year when the aim was to reduce it to a manageable 40%.
The Minister proposed laying off thousands of civil servants, stopping bonus payments, etc.; a desperate effort to contain public expenditure in the face of shrinking revenue. This was not the first time the Minister has tried to reduce public expenditure; he proposed similar measures last year but was publicly slammed down by senior Zanu PF leaders including the President’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao and President Mugabe himself. Minister Chinamasa was slammed down again this time by the usual suspects.
What I have found shocking is the out pouring of heartfelt sympathy for Chinamasa, with some even praising him; reminiscent of the Russians mourning Joseph Stalin! When the Russian dictator Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin died in 1953 it is said millions of Russians mourned him with the grief few had ever shown before or since.
Joseph Stalin caused the untold suffering of hundreds of millions of his own people and the deaths of millions more. He reportedly sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers into battle with no weapons with instructions to find the weapon of any who gets killed. Millions of Russians were arrested send to labour camps or summarily killed during his reign of terror. And yet when the tyrant died millions of Russians who were themselves or had relatives and friends victims of his tyrannical rule shed more tears for the tyrant than those shed for his victims.
“This year has been pretty hectic for my learned friend and former Cabinet colleague Zimbabwe Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa,” wrote Professor Welshman Ncube. “Patrick is a consummate politician, who in spite of the negative public image he has in many circles, mostly justly earned for having been at the forefront of the legal and media justification for ZANU PF's land grab policies and the attendant attacks on the judiciary, is honest, possesses a beautiful work ethic, loves his country and one of very few ZANU PF Ministers I know for a fact as being uncorrupted. To this day he remains largely very poor by ZANU PF standards because he has tried to practice honest politics.”
What a truck load of baloney!
Patrick Chinamasa is one of the Zanu PF officials who have benefited greatly from the de facto one-party state in that he has returned his ministerial job and all the financial and other fringe benefits that goes with Mugabe’s gravy train political system. He has received at least one former white owned commercial farm worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and never paid a single penny for it. No doubt he has helped a few of his relatives secure jobs, contracts, farms, etc.
So someone who has had a well-paid Ministerial job for 36 years (earned by rigging elections), a large commercial farm (to gratify one’s insatiable greed - never mind that the chaotic acquisition triggered the disastrous economic meltdown), etc.; is still considered “very poor by Zanu PF standards”. Well by the standards of the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans who have paid dearly for having this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship and are on the coal-face of the 90% unemployment, etc.; Minister Chinamasa is filthy rich!
By the way, Professor Welshman Ncube is one of the opposition political leaders who was allocated a former white owned farms. Mugabe has dished out the farms to bribe or reward those who have helped him establish and retain this corrupt and tyrannical one-party state cum one-man dictatorship. Professor Ncube was a senior MDC member in the GNU and, as we know, MDC did the tyrant a great favour by kicking the democratic reforms into the tall grass. No doubt Professor Ncube considers himself “very poor by Zanu PF standards”.
A few weeks ago Minister Patrick Chinamasa shocked the listeners when he denied on BBC programme HardTalk that the $15 billion of diamond revenue, which President Mugabe had admitted was “swindled”, had indeed been looted. Chinamasa insisted the money was not looted but was instead an accounting error due to “mispricing”!
The wholesale looting of Marange and Chiadzwa diamonds is certainly one of the worst cases of institutionalized theft of public resources. The grand theft is taking place at the time when hundreds of Zimbabweans are dying every week of simple illnesses like appendicitis because the country’s health delivery service has all but collapse after decades of chronic underfunding. $15 billion is a fortune for even the rich nations what more a country like Zimbabwe whose collected annual revenue is $3 billion! What is worse, the grand theft is still going on as we speak!
After President Mugabe’s confessed that the regime could not account for the $15 billion of diamond revenue in February this year, Minister Chinamasa and his counterpart in the ministry of Mines, Minister Chidhakwa, announced that the whole diamond mining industry in Marange was being reorganized to end the “mispricing”! In his budget statement last week Minister Chinamasa admitted that industry produced less than one million carats of diamonds in the last six months against an expectation of six million carats – proof that the regime is failing to stop the looting!
Of course Minister Patrick Chinamasa, like so many of his fellow Zanu PF colleagues, is a dishonest, incompetent, greedy, corrupt and despicable scum of the earth; a curse to the nation. How anyone would describe him as “honest, possesses a beautiful work ethic, loves his country and uncorrupted” beggars belief and speaks volumes of the speaker!
Professor Ncube shed buckets of tears for Chinamasa’s frustrating position of knowing what he must lay-off the thousands of civil servant to reduce the public expenditure, for example, but being stopped by Mugabe. Ncube did not shed a single tear for the unlucky civil servants and the hundreds of thousands who dependent of them who are, for no fault of their own, are the real victims here. To end his clearly frustrating situation, Professor Ncube suggested that Chinamasa should resign or, better still, fall on his own sword and commit hara-kiri!