Showy acquisitions: Grace drawn back into spotlight

By Wisdom Mumera

First Lady Grace Mugabe has been drawn under the spotlight again after her son Russell Goreraza imported two Rolls Royce vehicles at a cost of R70 million drawing the ire of many who feel the acquisitions are corrupt benefits.

Commenting on the picture of the imported Rolls Royce on social media, Gokwe Nembudziya legislator Justice Wadyejena branded the acquisitions as being a sign of corruption.

“Only the connected thrive in a country where youth are begging for opportunities to earn an honest living,” he said.

Businessman-cum-pastor Shingi Munyeza, who has warned that the country is sliding back into the 2008 economic situation, also decried the acquisitions saying they are unwarranted especially at a time when the country is undergoing massive monetary challenges.

“This picture is terribly wrong, seen on our streets in Zimbabwe at this point in time when there is an acute shortage of forex. #Insensitive”, he said.

South African based Zimbabwean communications expert Sure Kamhunga echoed the same sentiments adding that the buys are insensitive by nature.

“In Zimbabwe, you’ve two extremes: crass display of opulence in midst of grinding poverty and neglect; and breathtaking poverty unheard of 37 years ago”, he said.

The matter has also spilt into Parliament with Norton legislator Temba Mliswa questioning Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to clarify the source of funds for Grace to acquire a piece of property in Sandton and Goreraza’s own source for the acquisition of the vehicles.

Mliswa said, “We cannot protect corruption in this House. We must uphold the Constitution. She (Grace) also bought a $1,4 million ring and is it an offshore account.”

Grace-Mugabe-ring

However, Chinamasa in his response said “I cannot comment on allegations that I am not aware of. These are transactions outside government if ever they happened and you must ask those that made the allegations to explain to you,”.

The expensive lifestyles of the Mugabe family have also brought into question the impartiality of the Reserve Bank’s Priority List which details what can be bought with foreign currency, with vehicles and property way down the list.

Goreraza has a chequered career in business with rumours swirling that he ultimately lives off massive cash donations from his mother who is regularly paid out with public funds from the treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

This insensitive buy also follows news that President Robert Mugabe’s entourage to the UN summit is set to gobble over $10 million whilst his Youth Interface Rallies have gobbled over $20 million, news that has rankled many in the cash-strapped country.

The country’s budget has since surged by 44% in the first quarter of this year to $230,8 million from the comparable period in 2016 on the back of government’s failure to rein its reckless spending trends.

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