Mugabe and Tsvangirai squandered up to $22million of donor money on luxury vehicles
Harare(ZimEye)Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his partner in government President Robert Mugabe, have squandered up to 22million dollars of donor money intended for compensation meant for 11 victimised white Dutch farmers whose farm lands were illegally seized in Mugabe’s land reform program between 2000 and 2008.
The 22million dollars is believed to have been squandered on top of the range luxury vehicles and posh foreign trips by Mugabe and Tsvangirai after it was revealed not a single dollar has been released to the farmers after more than 36 months.
The 11 Dutch farmers were part of investors Mugabe invited into the new country after independence 1980 after which time they subsequently settled and bought farm lands. Their treatment by the government of Zimbabwe has served to demonstrate how unfair the government was when it claimed that it was addressing colonial imbalances in land ownership, but they were neither British descendants, nor Rhodesian relations but moved into the country at the behest of the first prime minister of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe in 1981.
Just after they had won their commercial dispute at the World Bank early in 2009, the World Bank soon announced a surprise aid cheque of 22 million US dollars which they did not elaborate fully on.
“We are talking of some 22 million which should be available within the next two weeks or month,” Toga Gayewea McIntosh, executive director of the World Bank’s Africa group, said in Harare on the 19th May 2009.
“This is the first step. This is a nation in arrears, a nation in crisis,” he said, without giving details on the grants which were the first for Zimbabwe from the World Bank since the formation of a unity government.
The timing of the grant brought suspicion that the EU had actually played irony on the government of Zimbabwe testing the latter if they would honour the ruling made in favour of the farmers.
Expensive luxury cars & jet flights
It has however turned out that the farmers are still to obtain their compensation more than 3 years later after the Zimbabwe government soon afterwards blew millions of dollars on luxury jeep cherokee and mercedes benz vehicles plus an inflated foreign travel bill topping a burning 157million dollars for the short period between February 2009 and July 2012.
At this time, only Education minister David Coltart refused to accept a mercedes benz preferring rather to utilise his old pathfinder.
While a comment from the Finance ministry was expected at the time of writing, the 22million grant injected by the EU in 2009 is believed to have been sucked into all other expenses the government of Zimbabwe accrued since 2009, since government has still not honoured the ruling to date.
No money at all ever since 2009
The 11 Dutch farmers have now threatened to protest at EU plans to lift sanctions since no money has been forthcoming for over three years; and there is now concern that the Zimbabwean government will have no incentive left to pay after the EU has lifted sanctions.
Just as also the country’s civil servants were met by a “there is no money” traditional answer from the Finance Ministry, the minister in charge Tendai Biti accused the mines Minister Obert Mpofu of swindling Chiadzwa Diamond funds while Zanu (PF) ministers collectively descended on Biti blaming him instead for the nation’s financial crisis.