Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa avoided a question from Norton legislator Temba Mliswa on where first lady Grace Mugabe and her son Russel Goreraza got foreign currency to buy houses and import two Rolls Royce vehicles respectively.
Chinamasa said he cannot comment on Mliswa’s question stating that he was not aware of the allegations. He told him to ask Grace and Russel where they got the foreign currency. Below is an excerpt of the National Hansard:
HON. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. There is a shortage of foreign currency and any foreign currency which is to leave the country has got to be prioritised. I would like to know whether the money that was used by the First Lady to buy a house in South Africa and equally the money used by Russel Goreraza to buy cars outside the country was priority and did it also have foreign exchange approval?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I cannot comment on allegations which I am not aware of. These are transactions outside Government. Yes, they are transactions, if they happened at all and I cannot comment. You need to ask those you allege have done so.
HON. MLISWA: I think we need to be consistent. We cannot have Ministers ducking and diving. This is very clear. Most of the questions asked in this House come through various forms. The first family has not denied that they bought a house. There has been no official statement from the first family saying that. It is very clear that unless, Minister, you are able to tell us that you will look into it and you will come back to us and answer the question– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- is it an offshore account or is it not an offshore account. The house was confiscated by the African Forum People. The evidence is there. Minister, I can furnish you if you want, with more information that it is not more than one house which has been bought by the first family. They have equally a house in South Africa. Is the money offshore or is the money coming from here because we have a foreign currency crisis in the country – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – He must respond. The Minister cannot duck and dive to protect corruption. This House must uphold the Constitution and must hold everybody accountable; the First Lady has been extravagant. The US$1.4 million which was used to buy a ring, it was also out of foreign currency in this country. We have been too quiet. He must answer …– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is a point of order.
*HON. MAHOKA: On a point of order. The Hon. Member is naming somebody who is not a Member of this House. Someone who is not a Member of this House should not be named because they cannot come to answer to those allegations and should not be included in our debates. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –