MDC man backs Mpofu


HARARE – Mines deputy minister Gift Chimanikire has exonerated his boss Obert Mpofu on accusations of amassing incredible wealth allegedly through misappropriating proceeds from Marange diamonds.

Chimanikire, a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, said after working with Mpofu at the Mines ministry, he learnt that the super-rich Umguza MP and Zanu PF politburo member had in fact worked hard for the vast empire he owns.

“What kind of a genius could he be to create such amount of wealth in one year?” Chimanikire asked at the Diamond Conference review breakfast meeting held yesterday.

“When I joined the Mines ministry, Mpofu had been there for a year.

“He already had that kind of wealth,” Chimanikire said, adding that though they were from different political parties, he had worked very well with his boss.

Mpofu, who belongs to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, has developed a close relationship with his deputy.

His comments are at variance with accusations from MDC ministers who claim Mpofu is a beneficiary of diamond mining deals.

Chimanikire went on to refer Mpofu as “King of Matabeleland”, before teasing him as the “ever obedient son” in reference to a boot licking sign-off by Mpofu on a letter he sent to Mugabe.

This comes as the multi-millionaire Mpofu has challenged a Canadian non-governmental organisation Partnership Africa Canada (Pac) to prove he splashed $20 million on properties in recent years using money obtained from Marange diamonds.

Pac had released a report claiming that looting at the Marange diamond fields had worsened, with Mpofu and military chiefs being the chief culprits, adding he had spent $500 000 on philanthropic activities.

Recently, Mpofu splashed close to $30 million to bail out financial institution ZABG Bank.

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