Christopher Tichaona Kuruneri is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur, lawyer and politician. He is a former minister of finance and economic development and the current member of parliament for Mount Darwin East. Kuruneri is a member of Zanu-PF.

Christopher Kuruneri
Chris.jpg
Born Christopher Tichaona Kuruneri
April 4, 1949
Occupation
  • Politician
  • Lawyer
  • Entrepreneur
Organization Zanu-PF
Known for Being Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

Contents

Background

He was born on April 4, 1949.[1]

Career

On 13 November 2002 he was sworn in as a lawyer at the High Court.[2]

Kuruneri was elected the member of parliament for Mazowe West and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. He was relieved of his Cabinet position as Finance Minister after it was revealed that he spent millions purchasing two homes in Llandudno, Cape Town which a suburb popular with movie stars and wealthy businessmen.[3]

Kuruneri stood in Mount Darwin East in the July 31 2013 polls and his electoral victory made it possible for him to make his way back to the National Assembly, but failed to catapult him into Cabinet after he was overlooked by Robert Mugabe.[4]

Business Interests and Assets

Kuruneri owns Ascotvale Farm in Mazowe.[5]


He was relieved of his Cabinet position as Finance Minister after it was revealed that he spent millions purchasing two homes in Llandudno, Cape Town which a suburb popular with movie stars and wealthy businessmen. One of the houses, a six-bedroom double-storey overlooking the beach, was auctioned in February 2011.

The home boasts unspoilt views of the ocean, but its former tenants complained of mould and damp. The tenants, a German couple, packed up and left the Apostle Road home in 2001. Kuruneri purchased the house for R5 million in 2002 and spent another R1 million on renovations. The former minister was reportedly selling the house to raise cash to fund the completion of his second home in the suburb which is a four-storey mansion in nearby Sunset Avenue which he bought for R2.7 million in 2002.

However, property developer Chris Hayman, who looked after Kuruneri’s home in South Africa, refused to say if the auction was being held to raise cash for the Sunset Avenue property. Building work on the Sunset Avenue property came to a halt when Robert Mugabe charged Kuruneri with breaking Zimbabwe’s strict exchange-control laws by purchasing the two properties. Kuruneri was acquitted of the charges, which he vehemently denied, in 2007.[3]

He is reported to own shares in a block of apartments at Sea Point. Kuruneri is said to have bought the properties through his company Choice Decisions, where he is the sole director.[6]

Controversies

Arrest

He was arrested on Saturday, 24 April 2004 for externalising funds and was reported to have externalised US$1.082 million, 34 471 British pounds and 30 000 Euros.

Kuruneri made headlines in the South African Sunday Times when it broke a story that he was building a R30 million mansion in the exclusive suburb of Llandudno in Cape Town. The mansion has eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a dining room big enough to accommodate 20 people and three garages.

He also owns another property in the same suburb which he bought for R2.7 million in 2002 and is reported to own shares in a block of apartments at Sea Point. Kuruneri is said to have bought the properties through his company Choice Decisions, where he is the sole director.

Kuruneri had two passports, one Canadian one and at the time dual citizenship was prohibited in Zimbabwe. Though Kuruneri argued that what he did was above the law because he earned the money he used to buy the properties from consultancy work for Mobile Systems International and Felipe Solano, the law says if one earns any money while resident in Zimbabwe, that money must be brought into the country. [6] He spent more than a year in remand prison and after 10 appeals for bail; Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku released him on bail and was later acquitted by the High Court in 2007.[4]

Corruption Charges

He was charged with corruption in the early 1990s when he was general manager of the Urban Development Corporation after he allegedly influenced the corporation to buy a property from Chris Mushonga, who he wanted to enter into business with, for $5 million. He was cleared of this case in November 1994. Mushonga had bought the property for $15 000 in 1984.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Kuruneri failed to pay a debt of $19 702 he had been loaned by the now defunct Universal Merchant Bank. The paper said tenders worth $5 billion mysteriously disappeared from Zimpost when Kuruneri was with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. And in 2001, property belonging to Quality Packaging Products, a company linked to Kuruneri was attached over a $130 000 debt.[6]



Health Issues

Collapse in Parliament

On 19 May 2016 Kuruneri collapsed in Parliament from an undisclosed ailment. He was whisked away in his vehicle for further management.[7]

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References

  1. Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations SOR/2008-248, Justice Laws Website, published: No Date Given, retrieved: May 23, 2017
  2. Zimbabwe: Kuruneri Sworn in As High Court Lawyer, All Africa, published: November 14, 2002, retrieved: May 23, 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kuruneri’s SA mansion under the hammer, NewsDay, published: February 11, 2011, retrieved: May 23, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kuruneri bounces back, Financial Gazette, published: November 7, 2013, retrieved: May 23, 2017
  5. Fidelis Munyoro, Ex-minister Kuruneri locks horns with ‘illegal’ miners, Herald, published: may 23, 2017, retrieved: may 23, 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kuruneri Arrested, Insider Zimbabwe, published: April 23, 2004, retrieved: May 23, 2017
  7. Zvamaida Murwira, [http://www.herald.co.zw/kuruneri-collapses-in-parliament/ Kuruneri collapses in Parliament ], Herald, published: May 20, 2016, retrieved: May 23, 2017