From once controlling state resources‚ enjoying unlimited allowances‚ flying first class and receiving constant kickbacks to suddenly now finding themselves wearing prison garb‚ dodging court summons and facing civil litigation.
That’s what has become of many former Zimbabwean cabinet ministers and powerful politicians dropped by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
But it does not start with Mnangagwa’s administration. Former president Robert Mugabe also retired some high-flying ministers the minute they showed ambition by backing the wrong horse in ZANU-PF factional wars.
Former State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa hit hard times in 2016 after he was expelled from ZANU-PF. Since then he has been fighting court orders to auction the few belongings he still possesses.
“When I was in government I did not steal even a penny like others and soon I won’t be able to buy food for my family‚” Mutasa said to journalists when friends were few.
He was not entirely honest. During Mutasa’s time as a government minister he had at least 12 farms and a newspaper report alleged that he gave land to his wives‚ girlfriends‚ relatives and friends.
Currently in Mnangagwa’s crop of the disappointed is former Minister of Health David Parirenyatwa who last week appeared in court facing a charge of criminal abuse of office.
It is the state’s case that Parirenyatwa‚ 68‚ instructed the National Pharmaceutical Company (NATPHARM) — a government company charged with the procurement of drugs for all state-run hospitals — to give senior jobs to his cronies.
As Health Minister in 2015 he was unprocedurally paid $100 000 by Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) for his services as a medical doctor. It later turned out he had been overpaid by $77 000 and the matter was swept under the rug.
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