LOCAL government minister Ignatius Chombo’s vast personal asset register is now in the public domain, thanks to the acrimonious relationship with his estranged wife of many years, Marian, who wants a big chunk of the cherry.
Chombo is no ordinary citizen, being a member of the politburo, the supreme decision-making body outside congress of Zanu PF.
The salary and benefits of Cabinet ministers are a matter of public record.
Questions will obviously be raised as to how he managed to acquire such obscene wealth.
Before his appointment, slightly over 10 years ago, Chombo’s claim to fame was a smallholding in the former African purchase area of Chitomborwizi near Chinhoyi.
In the absence of a clear explanation of how he managed to acquire such an array of properties from Chirundu to Chiredzi; from Victoria Falls to Mutare; a fleet of top-of-the-range vehicles and commercial trucks; several companies; commercial farms; mines and safari businesses, Chombo must resign.
He is not the only one in Cabinet with such wealth.
Ministers including Webster Shamu, Obert Mpofu, Nicholas Goche, Welshman Ncube, Elton Mangoma, Joseph Made, VP John Nkomo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi, and Francis Nhema, to mention but a few, also enjoy sizeable fortunes.
President Robert Mugabe is on record demanding that politicians declare their assets but they have not been forthcoming.
This was aimed at keeping in check corruption which had already taken root in Cabinet.
That time, the late national hero Eddison Zvobgo declared his assets and explained that some of it was inherited estate, and that some he bought with proceeds from his inherited businesses.
However, it was not long before other top ruling party members started amassing wealth.
This has been done with little or no regard for the electorate, the people that brought them to power.
It is pertinent to say law–abiding citizens have been denied the opportunity to acquire a 200sq-metre property and yet these politicians have become property moguls.
We believe President Mugabe has been principled on the issue of indigenisation, land reform and employment creation although with little success, but has been found wanting when dealing with corruption.
The President must stamp his authority and deal with corruption decisively.
Chombo was fingered by Harare City Council for his involvement in the acquisition of over 20 hectares of prime land in the plush suburb of Helensvale, Harare.
Only through a judicial commission of inquiry can Zimbabweans, in the public interest, be able to know who has benefited most from our national heritage and finite resources.
It is true there has not been a single politician taken to task for ill–gotten wealth.
President Mugabe must act with speed and take to task ministers with obscene wealth.