Zimbabwe – AFFIRMATIVE Action Group (AAG) president and Zanu PF apologist Chamu Chiwanza last Friday boasted at the launch of a book by Patson Dzamara, Forced to Fight, that only ruling party activists get rich in Zimbabwe.
The book launch was attended by senior MDC-T officials, including party president Morgan Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa and Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard) co-ordinator Temba Mliswa.
Sources who attended the launch said there was drama immediately after Chiwanza made the remarks as Mliswa, once a strong advocate of the indigenisation policy, told the gathering that Zanu PF was a completely corrupt party and its members thrived on looting and other unlawful means to get rich.
Zimbabwe is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries amid reports that mainly those connected to the ruling party were benefiting from underhand dealings.
Chiwanza yesterday defended his remarks, saying Zanu PF supporters were guided by various policies that lead to richness.
“You won’t make money if you are not in Zanu PF,” he told NewsDay.
“I believe the policies of Zanu PF preach economic empowerment and emancipation of our people from the doldrums of poverty. Since 1980, President (Robert) Mugabe has been preaching about empowerment. I told the majority of people I was with at school like (MDC-T MP Nelson) Chamisa that if you don’t join Zanu PF, you won’t make money,” said Chiwanza, adding the majority of poor politicians were in the opposition.
But annoyed by Chiwanza’s remarks, Mliswa told the gathering that as a former Zanu PF senior official, he knew party functionaries made money through stealing, much to the applause of opposition members.
Pressed to comment on Mliswa’s allegations, Chiwanza said he was shocked that Mliswa did not believe in the empowerment gospel anymore.
“I am not going to respond to Mliswa’s comments. He was my vice-president at AAG when I was secretary for youths and for him to say that, it was really shocking,” he said.
Mliswa yesterday maintained that the wealth which the likes of Chiwanza was bragging about, was amassed through i-llicit means.