HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsThe money that they stole

The money that they stole

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The Reserve Bank is a monster that was transformed into a tuckshop for Zanu PF parasites and I feel sorry for my class mate — the new governor —who must pretend all is well.

GUEST COLUMNIST VINCE MUSEWE

A bunch of men dressed in suits and looking important are going all over the country on public hearings asking whether ordinary, hardworking folk who are struggling should pay for the money that was stolen from the Reserve Bank and dished out by Gideon Gono to Zanu PF cronies and parasites.

That is the most ridiculous exercise that I can imagine. How can we seriously run this country when parliamentarians spend taxpayers’ money going around the country wanting input on what is a clear case?

Funds were abused to prop up Zanu PF and now they must ask us whether we should pay for that?

I note that Gono is hiding behind the Reserve Bank Act and I really wonder whether our laws are in place to protect stealing or to prevent it.

Surely any bank must account on how it spends money and cannot be protected by law not to account for it?

It is offensive to ask taxpayers to shoulder the Reserve Bank debt and yet refuse to disclose to them how that debt arose in the first place and who “borrowed” what?

In addition, if I remember correctly, the Cabinet decided to take over that debt anyway and it’s a done deal designed to protect the very people who benefited from this national theft.

My class mate — John Mangudya — looks like he has been given a grenade and Gono has run away with the pin.

I actually heard an insider’s story that a minister, who is now late, was surprised when a combine harvester was delivered to his farm courtesy of the so-called Farm Mechanisation Scheme, only to tell the touts who delivered it that he was a cattle rancher and did not need it, but the guys insisted that they had been sent and had to leave it there — the combine harvester was left rotting at the farm.

Millions worth of assets were also stolen from the farms and white commercial farmers will need to be compensated for that — courtesy of the taxpayer once more and yet nobody in Parliament is talking about this.

This is actually not the only debt that we should worry about — State enterprises from Air Zimbabwe, NRZ, to TelOne and many more all have humongous debts that have been taken over by government.

Have the parliamentarians gone around asking about those debts and whether we should pay or should we rather liquidate these enterprises that continue to drain the country’s resources while being used only as patronage systems for Zanu PF parasites?

The list of debt continues as we also hear that Tourism spent $50 million on cars to be paid over 20 years. The Ministry of Finance ordered cars for $12 million.

Remember all this will be paid by the taxpayer and the productive sector that is struggling to survive. I will not even talk about the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and what is going on there.

Zimbabwe will also be borrowing billions from China and I do not hear our honourable members requiring details of this debt and how it will be financed.

In addition to that is the recent deal with Russia which is mired in intrigue and opacity and yet I do not hear a squeak from Parliament.

Is the deal clean since there are now unconfirmed rumours that it is an arms deal? Arms to fight who?

The storm over the “Salarygate scandal” seems to have prematurely subsided and yet nothing has been done about it.

Surely we cannot afford to remove that from the agenda until those who benefited are brought to book and pay back the money they “earned” without delivering value to taxpayers.

You see, our system is so rotten and I really think we are tinkering on the edges and wasting resources without addressing our fundamental problem.

We have a government of thieves (mbavha dzevanhu) who will never bring each other to book.

We have a government with leaders whose values have deteriorated so much that the only solution is to replace them, and the sooner that happens, the better.

I shudder to imagine what we shall find when we take over this government and do a thorough forensic audit on all ministries and State institutions.

We shall find that our country is poor, the Treasury empty not for lack of resources, but because money and assets have been stolen for the benefit of this regime and everyone associated with it.

Now they want the vendors to replenish it!

The Reserve Bank played Father Christmas to Zanu PF parasites, our State enterprises have been used as a Zanu PF petty cash box and jobs for cronies, billions have been stolen in the mining sector — it’s a looters’ paradise.

Our local government is a toxic corridor of greed and I can bet my bottom dollar that in every ministry something has indeed been looted. It’s a culture.

I strongly urge our Members of Parliament to take us seriously and spend their time on all these more serious issues. These public hearings on the Reserve Bank debt are a waste of time and resources for everyone.

If I were an MP, I would certainly refuse to be be involved in such a comedy that will achieve nothing at the end.
Let us be serious for once, Zimbabweans deserve better.

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