After many government officials including Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, succumbed to COVID-19, many speculated that even more political elites, including Patrick Chinamasa, had died. There is no proof that he is dead, actually, ZBC reporter, Reuben Barwe recorded a video in which he claims to be speaking to Chinamasa over the phone, suggesting he is still alive.
Here is some information about former Zimbabwe finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa.
1. As Finance Minister
He is the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. Chinamasa was appointed the minister by the late Robert Mugabe and he served in the ministry from 10 September 2013 to 9 September 2017. On 9 September 2017 Mugabe through the Office of the President and Cabinet announced changes to his then cabinet. Chinamasa was moved to a newly created Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation. This portfolio became effective on 9 October 2017 in a cabinet reshuffle which was speculated to be a measure adopted to stop factional fighting in Zanu-PF.
However, when Emmerson Mnangagwa became President of Zimbabwe in November 2017 (following a military coup the ousted Mugabe) Chinamasa was reappointed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. He was however removed from the ministry after Mnangagwa secured the presidency in August 2018. He now serves as Zanu-PF Secretary of Finance.
2. Bribery Accusations
In 2006 he allegedly wanted to bribe James Kaunye after the latter filed a court application to sue Didymus Mutasa‘s supporters who had insulted him. Kaunye told the court that the Minister called on him at his Yorkshire Farm in Headlands and offered him bribes so that he could drop his complaint against 23 of Mutasa’s supporters who had earlier attacked and left him wounded.
Early in Patrick Chinamasa’s trial, proceedings were adjourned for a week when magistrates complained of intimidation and refused to preside over the issue. Kaunye and Mutasa were contesting against each other for the Makoni North Constituency in Zanu PF primary elections. He was later acquitted after inconsistencies and evasiveness in the witness’ evidence for the charge.
3. Benefiting from a gov loan he never repaid
In July 2020, Patrick Chinamasa was revealed by Alex Magaisa’s BSR publication to be one of the Zanu-PF senior members that benefited unfairly from the 2007 RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme. Chinamasa (Tsukumai Farm) was listed in a leaked document as having benefited equipment worth US$350,463.00 which he did not pay for.
Other Zanu-PF officials listed then include Obert Mpofu, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Phelekezela Mphoko, Joice Mujuru, Joseph Msika, Oppah Muchinguri and Didymus Mutasa.
4. Calling the US Ambassador a “thug”
On 27 July 2020, as acting Zanu PF spokesperson, Chinamasa accused the US ambassador to Zimbabwe of meddling in local affairs and labelled him a ‘thug’ in a press statement. Chinamasa also claimed that US ambassador Brian Nichols was an Uncle Tom being used to propagate values the US itself did not practice on its people. He also warned that Zanu PF was aware of a “coterie of gangsters and mercenaries disguised as diplomats” in Zimbabwe.
The attacked on the Ambassador followed plans of what would be nationwide protests against the government slated for 31 July.
5. Chinamasa’s personal information
Born Patrick Antony Chinamasa on 25 January 1947, Chinamasa turns 74 in 2021. Chinamasa is married to Monica Chinamasa. His children include Chengetai and Gamuchirai. Chengetai died in November 2007.
6. Notable positions held by Patrick Chinamasa
In addition to the Finance Minister position, Chinamasa also served as Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs from July 2000 – September 2013.
7 Preasuring judges to resign
Following his appointment as Justice Minister in 2000, many Zimbabwean judges, (especially European-African Judges) resigned, complaining of political pressure.
On 9 February 2001 after Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay took early retirement at his suggestion, Chinamasa reportedly held meetings with senior Justices Ahmed Ebrahim and Nicholas McNally and told them for their own safety to leave.