Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere must explain his “staggering wealth”, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya has said.
While the combative ex-war veteran was backed by his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) counterpart Obert Gutu at an Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe discussion forum on Wednesday, Mahiya says it would be essential for the Zanu PF national commissar to explain his “riches” — epitomised by his Glen Lorne mansion — and whether it was inheritance.
“To me, the nation is not doing enough. If it was me and my colleagues… we would not be worried about proof whether somebody (is) actually… corrupt but what I see. I can tell you, if it was me, Kasukuwere would be behind bars,” he thundered.
“If I (were the) Home Affairs minister… all I would need… is a balance sheet of land and then find out ‘what miracle he performed’ in order to have that amount of money to build that mansion,” Mahiya said, adding such things could have been acquired “at the expense of the people… and the reason why we (are) having difficulties to survive”
Supporting Mahiya’s sentiments, Gutu said Kasukuwere “did not run any viable businesses” that could have enabled him to build such a monstrous house.
“A man who has built a house… with 50 bedrooms, that’s obscene (if true and) where did that (money) come from? I don’t know of any business that he runs that is viable,” he said.
“He took over United Touring Company (and) ran it down, Genesis Bank… and where did he get (all that) money from? That’s corruption. Up until such a time we build strong (governance) institutions, we are in trouble,” Gutu said.
While it is known that Kasukuwere’s relationship with war veterans has been frosty since he labelled them “drunkards and taxi drivers”, Mahiya and Gutu’s sentiments come as the youthful minister has been pummeling several MDC-run councils for being corrupt, hence the suspension of the Gweru and Harare mayors.
As efforts to secure comment from the Mount Darwin South legislator were futile yesterday, he has previously reiterated that he had nothing to hide and was just a victim of malicious gossip.
“…my money is easily traceable (and) l can challenge anyone… (and) show the source of my small but appreciative wealth,” Kasukuwere said when recently confronted by one-time ally Temba Mliswa.
At the meeting, Mahiya also lamented how the country was being run and said President Robert Mugabe’s party had “abandoned the principles that drove people to war”.
“Today’s politicians want money. The people (we see wanting power) today… are exactly the same who will be speaking against the same issues,” he said.
“In 1980… I was able to do things on my own, it was very easy. Somewhere, somehow.., things went wrong (as) the same tuck-shop that I could operate… won’t make as much money as I would have made back then,” Mahiya, who has recently had run-ins with banks, said.
“So life is difficult… on the ground because of the power(s) that we elect… be it in Zanu PF or any other party (and) it is a question of what you use the power for,” he said.
“The moment we look at policies in relation to these principles, we will have the right policies. How can you say we don’t need to import food when our industries are not working. My father, mother and children will not have food.”