HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Anti-Corruption Commission must investigate allegations that Macro-Economic Planning minister Obert Mpofu (pictured) allegedly siphoned diamonds money to amass his vast wealth, the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said.
This comes amid a case in which the former Mines minister — believed to be super rich — could lose his plush Glen Lorne property after he was dragged to the High Court over a $2 million CBZ Bank (CBZ) debt.
PDP said Mpofu’s mega riches are “in one way or the other acquired using unscrupulous means”.
“As we have always said, Mpofu was at the centre of the looting of the Marange diamonds,” the opposition party said, adding that even “(President Robert) Mugabe later admitted that $15 billion had been stolen (but) shockingly, no investigation has been opened”.
“Knowing the paltry salary that a minister is entitled to, Mpofu could not have properly accumulated such kind of wealth,” the PDP said in a statement yesterday.
While Mpofu was unavailable for comment yesterday as his mobile phone was unreachable, he has previously said in a statement that he would not respond to “rumours”.
A record published in the press claims he owns Trebo and Khays, Maminza Transport, and Khanondo Safari and Tours.
He also owned a newspaper at some point, which later shut down.
PDP said the closure of Mpofu’s businesses en masse, including Minus Restaurant, Matetsi Meats Butchery, KST Bypass Fuel Service Station — all leased from Hwange Colliery Company, KoMpofu Sports Bar and KoMpofu Butchery is a clear indicator that he is no proper businessman.
“It is therefore clear that there was some corrupt activities that Mpofu was engaged in using his powers as Mines minister or even when he became Transport minister with Zinara funds at his disposal,” it said.
“At some point, Mpofu, in the middle of the night, went to fetch diamonds delivered by the deputy sheriff for safe keeping at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,” PDP claimed.
“With this kind of conduct it is not surprising that Mpofu owns over 50 properties, so many companies, he even owns a big fraction of Victoria Falls,” PDP said, adding that “there is need to weed out corruption for the nation to progress.”