HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) have declared their personal assets in the interest of encouraging transparency and accountability.
The MDC-T leader, his deputy Thokozani Khupe, secretary general Tendai Biti, along with other members of the MDC-T’s senior hierarchy declared their assets on Monday last week at Harvest House, the party’s headquarters.
In particular, Tsvangirai declared his Strathaven house, a few personal cars, cattle, goats and sheep although it could not be ascertained how much cash he held.
Nearly everyone in the top brass of the party listed houses, land, cars, livestock and household goods in their inventories to be forwarded to Parliament soon, according to Speaker of Parliament and MDC-T chairperson, Lovemore Moyo.
A number of MDC-T councillors have in the past been suspended or arrested over corruption charges, among them expropriation of council property, particularly residential and commercial stands.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T national spokeperson, this week said the party’s leadership had been able to account for all the assets in their possession.
“Remember, the party is made (up of) a cross-section of members of our society — professionals, business people and the like. But we are happy that the entire leadership is able to explain how they came into possession of their assets,” he said.
He said it has been a long standing resolution that party officials — from the president, the standing committees, the national executive and Members of Parliament — should account for their assets to ensure transparency and accountability.
“It is part of efforts to show the nation that as leadership of the MDC we have nothing to hide. As future rulers of this country, declaring our assets is meant for scrutiny of the people of Zimbabwe. People of Zimbabwe need to know where we got our assets,” he said.
Meanwhile Zanu PF’s Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s wealth was exposed in 2010 in a messy divorce involving his wife of 25 years, Marian. Court documents exposed the fact that Chombo, a former teacher, had tentacles in virtually all sectors of the economy.
The minister has interests in several farms, mines, hunting safari lodges in Chiredzi, Hwange, Magunje and Chirundu, as well as properties in South Africa. Local properties included 75 residential and commercial stands plus 14 houses and 5 flats, all dotted around the country. Not to mention 15 vehicles.
Even when a probe team of Harare City Councillors produced a report implicating Chombo and businessman Philip Chiyangwa in the illegal acquisition of council land on the cheap, the police refused to investigate the matter. Instead the councillors and journalists who covered the saga were arrested.
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