”Zimbabwe minister brags about his wealth to Bill Gates’ reps.”

CHOMBO BRAGS ABOUT HIS FABULOUS WEALTH

November 10, 2011 by newsdzezimbabwe

Ignatius Chombo

HARARE – The Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo has been bragging about his fabulous wealth to a team representing mega-rich couple Bill and Melinda Gates. The setting was his Makombe Building offices this week, where the Gates Foundation representatives were paying a courtesy call after visiting to assess a housing project for the poor.

Flaunting his flamboyant life, Chombo showed them he is nowhere near the poor that the foundation is targeting.

Bragging about his American car, army of household staff and lighting that can brighten up a whole street, Chombo showed he lives the high life in a sea of poverty.

As the Gates team discussed with the minister on how best the government and local authorities under his control can improve the welfare of the poor, Chombo jumped into his lavish lifestyle, leaving the Gates crew down with sarcastic laughter.

“I have two maids in the house and two guys outside,” said Chombo disdainfully.

“I have 10 lights on the two sides of the road because I reside at the corner. Even the side that covers the road area is much clearer. Not street lights but our own lights.

“I can provide lighting much better and cheaper because I have a guy who is employed full-time responsible for that,” said Chombo, attracting huge laughter from Melanie Walker, a programmes officer who led the delegation.

“Why have so many guys? That’s about five?” asked a genuinely surprised Walker, whose boss Bill is worth $56 billion and is only second to Carlos Slim Helu from Mexico, according to international researchers.

She got a response that highlights the swanky life enjoyed by most Zimbabwean cabinet ministers, many who only started amassing wealth after joining government service.

“It works here but is doesn’t work in your country,” said Chombo, fidgeting but not showing any signs of shame.

The former university lecturer turned super rich government minister enlightened Walker and her group even further.

He added that the extent of his wealth did not end with him but has since rubbed off to his subordinates.

“When you look at the Zimbabwean situation and the need for shelter, everyone wants a bigger house, even my driver wants to build a bigger house, he doesn’t want to build a small house,” said Chombo.

He was not done yet.

“I bought my car in America and was given 48 months to pay but I could have burnt it and changed from one state to another and got away with it,” he said in twisted irony to the mortgage bubble that burst leaving some Americans homeless after foreclosure.

Gates, the former Chairman of Microsoft and founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are funding the construction of houses for poor residents in the impoverished Dzivaresekwa suburb.

The Gates foundation, the largest private foundation globally, is also financing the refurbishment of Mbare Hostels, where residents suffer atrocious living conditions because of decades of government neglect.

But among all the pomp, Chombo spared a little thought for the poor who rely on his ministry for services.

“I don’t understand why the city could spend money cutting grass between my house and the road. This is what the city does here.

“They have absolutely no capacity to do it and how they cut does not match the beauty that I want. So my guy does the grass outside because I have a guy who does that.”

Struck by Walker , Chombo could not resist giving the tall and slender American a bear hug before telling her: “Next time when I come to Texas, I have a grandson there in Dallas, I will make sure that I see you,” said Chombo.

The minister’s massive wealth was brought to the fore by his estranged wife Marian in a messy divorce case that is still before the courts. His lawyers have asked the court to gag the media from further revealing details of the divorce case. The court is still to rule on the gag request.

Below is Chombo’s wealth as revealed in Marian’s divorce court papers which Chombo is disputing:

4 Toyota Land Cruisers,

3 Mercedes Benzes

l Mahindra

2 Nissan Wolfs, 1 Toyota Vigo, 1 Mazda BT-50, 1 Bus 1 Nissan Hard body 1 Toyota Hilux

Mrs Chombo was also claiming other properties that included:

2 Glen View houses

2 flats in Queensdale,

A property in Katanga Township,`

Stand Number 1037 Mount Pleasant Heights

4 Norton business stands

3 Chinhoyi business stands,

4 Banket business stands,

1 commercial stand in Epworth,

2 residential stands in Chirundu

4 commercial stands in Kariba

1 stand in Ruwa

1 stand in Chinhoyi,

2 stands in Mutare

2 stands in Binga.

4 stands in Victoria Falls

1 stand in Zvimba Rural

Chitungwiza (two residential and two commercial stands)

Beitbridge (four stands),

20 stands in Crow Hill, Borrowdale

10 stands in Glen Lorne,

2 flats at Eastview Gardens (B319 and B320)

1 flat at San Sebastian Flats in the Avenues, Harare

Number 79 West Road, Avondale.

Greendale house

Number 36 Cleveland Road, Milton Park

Number 135 Port Road, Norton,

2 Bulawayo houses.

Number 18 Cuba Rd, Mount Pleasant

Number 45 Basset Crescent, Alexandra Park,

2 Chegutu houses

1 Glen Lorne house (Harare)

2 houses (Victoria Falls).

1 Stand along Simon Mazorodze Road,

Norton (one stand)

Avondale (two stands)

365 Beverly House (one stand)

Bulawayo (three stands),

Mica Point Kariba (one stand).

Other properties named also include, cattle at Darton Farm, shared chicken runs, pigsties, a shop, grinding mill, house, mills, tractors, lorries, six trucks, five of which are non-runners, four trailers (three non-runners) and one truck.

Marian also revealed that the minister has shares in 10 companies including Dickest, Hamdinger, Landberry and Track in Security Company.

She further revealed that Chombo has a stake in Mvurwi Mine, hunting safari lodges in Chiredzi, Hwange, Magunje and Chirundu as well as properties in South Africa.

This is what they have agreed in court to share:

Part of agreed property by Chombo and his former wife Marian

1 Norton stand,

4 Queensdale flats,

1 flat on Mutare Road,

1stand in Kariba,

2 Glen View house,

1 Ruwa stand,

2  Stands in Chinhoyi

Allan Grange Farm.

1bus,

6 truck horses,

three trailers,

a tanker,

8-tonne truck,

1 Land Cruiser

1Mercedes-Benz,

1 twin-cab Hardbody,

1Nissan Wolf

2 Shawasha Hills stands,

1 Ruwa plot and

1Alexandra Park house.

Part of agreed property by Chombo and his former wife Marian

1 Norton stand,

4 Queensdale flats,

1 flat on Mutare Road,

1stand in Kariba,

2 Glen View house,

1 Ruwa stand,

2  stands in Chinhoyi

Allan Grange Farm.

1bus,

6 truck horses,

three trailers,

a tanker,

8-tonne truck,

1 Land Cruiser

1Mercedes-Benz,

1 twin-cab Hardbody,

1Nissan Wolf

2 Shawasha Hills stands,

1 Ruwa plot and

1Alexandra Park house.

However these do not include government vehicles and other shares which the minister has refused to hand over saying they are undividable. DAILY NEWS

related articles: bill gates foundation to continue with zim housing project.html

bill gates to spruce up mbare hostels/

Chipangano militia stalling US$5m Bill Gates projects

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