By Sibanengi Dube
What is now nakedly coming out is the undisputed fact that Zanu PF overtly regards Zimbabweans as fools. If the actions and pronouncements of Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is anything to go by, then Zimbabweans are toys and a political apparatus available for abuse and misuse.
How does this military government explain the blatant lies prominently featuring in the recent budget which was presented by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube? The Chinese who are paraded as all-weather friends had to expose the lies which the nation was bluntly fed with.
Minister Ncube claimed that the government got financial assistance worth $3 631 500 from China only for the figure to be shot down by the Chinese embassy. The embassy instead pegged the figure at $136.8 million.
This figure excludes bilateral support, such as the expense of expert assistance and embassy donations to vulnerable groups. Was this a typographical error?
Where is the $133 168 500 shortfall? Has the money disappeared again in the gorillas’ pockets or is safely gathering dust somewhere in the Treasury? Ncube is still tight-lipped as the nation waits for an explanation.
The former freedom fighters never expected such monumental embarrassment from their all-time friendly China, hence the absence of a well-crafted statement over the looting.
This time they overdid it. They carelessly played the game before seeking connivance from the donor, who they mistook to be a fool. The dough was stolen from the Chinese but these full time looters expected cooperation from the Chinese in waylaying their money. Who on earth will participate in a cover up to hide his own deprivation?
The Ministry of Information was compelled to tweet, literally acknowledging their theft, but avoided a direct address to the thievery.
“Govt has noted the query raised by @ChineseZimbabwe regarding bilateral aid figures captured in the 2020 National Budget Statement. Necessary consultations are underway to establish a common accounting position. We thank the Chinese Govt for their support…”read part of the tweet.
What common accounting position is the government seeking? The Government of Zimbabwe surely takes citizens for a ride. Whatever accounting system the government might have employed would surely not miss a staggering $133 168 500. This can only be a deliberate dipping of fingers in a cookie jar. Kwanzi mungatidini. Hapana zvamungatiita.
These missing millions did not develop wings and fly back to Beijing. The money was stolen by those with access to state coffers. Whoever mistook the $133 168 500 to be his must just return it before surrendering himself to the nearest police station.
The culprit owes the nation an explanation in court. It can’t be business as usual when state funds just disappear like morning dew. This is not the first time money meant to benefit starving Zimbabweans melted away in full view of everyone. Remember the $15 billion whose disappearance was confessed by the late dictator Robert Mugabe. Not to be forgotten are the millions that were gulped by the ‘command agriculture’ snare.
Can we imagine that the biting fuel shortages are caused by cartels monopolising fuel supplies to Zimbabwe. This is something that is well documented and known individuals involved are rich beyond their imaginations as the majority of Zimbabweans starve and queue for petrol every day.
Mungatidini mentality has seen those entrusted with the public purse overtly plundering national resources with reckless abandon in full view of bare-footed Zimbabweans. Mugabe’s imposing Borrowdale Blue Roof Castle stands as colossal evidence of how the national treasury had been subjected to systematic pillaging.
One can just imagine how much it cost the taxpayer to fund other castles owned by Zanu PF fat cats. The majority of Zanu PF looters own homes that are larger than standard five star hotels.
The disposed self-confessed Zanu PF political mafia, Saviour Kasukuwere’s mansion is even bigger than the majority of South Africa’s shopping malls. And this G40 charlatan is still positioning himself to take over the Zanu PF presidency from Ngwena despite all the bloody murderous sins he committed against Zimbabweans.
These guys are not making any effort to learn from their mistakes. Barely a month after shutting down hospitals in the country by firing doctors and cutting medical supplies to government hospitals and health centres, the crooks never hesitated for a second siphon $133 168 500 to an unknown destination.
This is not the first Zimbabweans short-changed their Chinese counterparts. Chinese financial institutions indefinitely suspended funding three big infrastructure projects totaling US$1.324 billion after government raided and diverted US$10 million from an escrow account for the Robert Mugabe International Airport expansion project.
One close associate of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and former Transport Minister, Joram Gumbo, could not account for three planes together with its six long wings.
Zanu PF politburo member and former minister of Labour and Social Welfare Prisca Mupfumira is on bail for allegedly raiding the NSSA purse. The quasi military government never hesitated even for a second to fatally open live ammunition on protesters disputing the discredited elections which attempted to sanitise Mnangagwa’s presidency.
Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa