Reports about the wealth that opposition leader and former Finance Minister Tendai Biti has accumulated probably explains why the opposition wanted a government of national unity and why it was bitter about being left out of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
It had lost an opportunity for its leaders to accumulate more wealth and not one to fight for the interests of the people or to improve the country’s economy.
According to The Herald, divorce papers filed by Biti’s wife, Charity, show that among the properties the couple had were:
- an immovable property at Stand Number 14 Coltman Road, Mount Pleasant in Harare measuring 4 048 square metres
- a 6 831 square metre plot in Umwinsdale.
- Number 2 Poland Way, Glen Lorne, Harare (4 000 square metres),
- Number 7 Bernard Avenue, Chisipite (4 114 square metres),
- Number 26 Rowland Square, Milton Park (2 762 square metres),
- Tsoko Lodge, Number 1 Shato Close, Juliasdale.
They also had:
- a black Mercedes-Benz S350 (ADY 5606),
- a Toyota Land=Cruiser (ADI 2870),
- a white Ford Ranger (ADL 1761),
- Mercedes-Benz E300 (ADA 7481) and
- a Mercedes-Benz E280 (ACY 5148).
Most of the assets were probably accumulated during the time Biti was a government minister because during the inclusive government, members of the Movement for Democratic Change were having it so good that they were not in any hurry to have elections because that would have meant the end of the gravy train.
The question probably is, is that all?
One MDC-T activist is quoted in the book: Why Mugabe won (the 2013 elections) as saying that MDC-T leaders had become so important and rich to muck in with their comrades.
“We used to travel with these guys using worn out old cars, sleeping in huts. Now they are rich, they are too special. They used to have meetings under trees. Now they are complaining that it is too hot,” one activist is quoted as saying.
Another said: “When these guys went into government, you could meet in the road and speak. Now these guys are MPs, you meet and you are pushed…… The MDC was supposed to be pro-poor but when people got into power they got cars and there was a dividing line between them and the people…..”
There is likely to be another expose about the wealth that opposition leaders accumulated if Gift Chimanikire’s divorce also goes through the courts.
Another former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo’s wealth was exposed during his divorce with wife Marian.