Obert Moses Mpofu is a Zimbabwean politician with various business interests in mining, security and transport. He is the former Minister of Home Affairs. In December 2017 he was appointed as the Zanu-PF Secretary for administration.

Dr.
Obert Mpofu
Obert Mpofu
Born Obert Moses Mpofu
October 12, 1951
Nationality Zimbabwean
Education University of Zimbabwe
Alma mater University of Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Minister of Home Affairs
  • Member of Parliament:Umguza.
Employer Government of Zimbabwe
Organization Minister of Home Affairs
Home town Matabeleland
Political party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front

In February 2018 Mpofu was called before parliament to answer on the missing $15billion. Obert Mpofu refused to answer questions on the Missing 15 Billion Dollars in parliament, saying he would not respond to a committee chaired by Temba Mliswa.

In 2018 Mpofu resigned as Matabeleland North Senator and notified the august House of his decision to leave the seat.[1]

Contents

Background

Mpofu was born on 12 October 1951 and grew up in the Zambezi Valley Hwange district in Matabeleland Province. It is was reported that Mpofu started from humble beginnings. He initially worked as a reporter in Zambia, and as a manager at Zimpapers.

Education

[2]

Positions Held

[4]

Political career

His earliest political activity was during his teenage days when he was an occasional messenger passing information between the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) comrades in the country and those in neighbouring Zambia. He eventually got an opportunity for military training under Alfred Nikita Mangena but was quickly dismissed for allegedly being untrainable and divisive. He broke ties with ZAPU and went on to join the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF).

Involvement in Corruption

Declaration of Source of Wealth

Quizzed on how he acquired his wealth, Mpofu argued that he had accumulated riches through clean deals and hardwork. He claimed that he got a golden handshake whilst working for a Zanu-PF owned company Tregers in the late 1980s.[5]

In March 2018 he further denied receiving bribes from anyone and challenged anyone to come forward who thought otherwise.

I have worked hard with my family to be where I am and I do not owe anybody anything and I appeal to anybody who thinks he gave me or bribed me to come forward and tell the public about it as I have never, in my whole life, received anything from anybody as an inducement for I do not need anything from anybody.

I am aware of the nonsense that has been peddled by political and social opponents who feel challenged by my successes. I am proud of what I have and no one will take away what I have sweated for because I have worked for everything I have. The most expensive asset I have is the famous seven-storey York House building which the family bought from Old Mutual in 1998. The Victoria Falls nonsense that I own the whole or most of it is as stupid as the idiots who are peddling it. Can they list those assets so that I can take ownership of them if they ever exist.
Obert Mpofu Opens Up On Source Of Wealth

Business Interests as Minister of Mines

Obert Mpofu was accused of being corrupt during his tenure as Minister of Mines.It was reported that he acquired his wealth through corrupt activities.The minister allegedly own half the town of Victoria Falls and has interests in companies such as Trebo, Khayas, Maminza Transport, Khanondo Safari and Tours, Khanondo Car Hire, Horseshow Estate, KoMpofu La Sports Bar, Luna Rainbow Tours, Guest Paradise Lodge, Good Memories Lodge, Mswelangubo Farm, New Miners Restaurant (Hwange), Accut and Crews Village, Moya Security and Matetsi Meat Butchery.[4] The Umguza legislator has also been linked with a local bank called ZABG in which he is rumoured to have a controlling stake in the financial institution. He was the owner of Allied Bank but the bank was forced to hand over its license to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after it faced several constraints ranging from liquidity challenges and failure to meet minimum capital requirements.

Mpofu was also reported to be the owner of a local newspaper called the Zimbabwe Mail. The paper was also said to have been facing serious operational challenges and had gone for several months without paying rentals leading to their eviction from the building they were renting.[6]

He was investigated for allegedly smuggling television sets into [Zimbabwe]]. In his role as Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, the minister proposed the phasing out of kombis and pave way for more affordable transport facilities like buses to de-congest the central business district. Allegations were flying around that the bus company to replace the kombis has strong links to Obert Mpofu.[7]Mpofu was also accused of accepting a well-sponsored trip to Bulgaria from a Balkan Airlines representative at the then Harare International Airport

Lawsuit

In March 2018 it was reported that a Zimbabwean Court ordered Mpofu and Godwin Matanga to pay more than $30 000 as compensation to some villagers, whose property and homesteads were demolished during forced evictions instigated by the country’s former First Lady Grace Mugabe in 2015. The report read:

In January 2015, ZRP officers raided and demolished the Mazowe villagers’ homesteads at Manzou Farm, in Mazowe District in Mashonaland Central province, where they resided without obtaining a court order to justify the forced evictions. During the forced evictions, the ZRP officers destroyed homesteads, household furniture and the villagers’ crop produce including maize grain and groundnuts.

This prompted the villagers, who sought the services of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to petition the Bindura Magistrates Court seeking various orders for payment of damages for the destruction of their homesteads and property.

In the summons filed in 2015 at Bindura Magistrates Courts, the villagers argued that in destroying their homesteads and evicting them, the ZRP officers violated their fundamental rights including their right to property, guaranteed under section 71 of the Constitution and their right to freedom from arbitrary eviction provided under Section 74 of the Constitution.

The malicious damage to their property, the villagers also argued, was in violation Section 219 of the Constitution, which provides that the country’s Police Service is responsible for protecting and securing the lives and property of people and upholding the Constitution.

The villagers, who were represented by Noble Chinhanu of ZLHR, also argued that together with their children, they suffered great humiliation, shock, trauma as a result of the destruction of their homesteads and property and endured emotional suffering and physical hardship after being rendered homeless and at the mercy of the elements.

This week, judicial officers at Bindura Magistrates Court started handing down judgments in favour of the Mazowe villagers, who sued Mpofu, Matanga and six ZRP officers namely Inspector Munetsi, Constable Simbanegavi, Constable Machekecha, Constable Mataruse, Constable Ngunda and Constable Mapuranga, all based at Mazowe Police Station, who were part of the ZRP contingent, which tormented the Manzou Farm dwellers.

Some of the villagers, who have already been granted judgments of varying amounts in their favour include Leonard Mukoore, King Makosa, Esther Mushukuti, Alec Kamonera, Jona Zomba, Jerina Tope, Stella Mucharehwa, Elizabeth Mutsau, Media Kapfumba, Ranganai Chibundu, Yeukai Dube, Chipo Fote, Tapiwa Dhaisi and Pearson Matema.

Judgments for the other remaining villagers will be handed down this month.

ENDS Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Kodzero/Amalungelo House No. 103 Sam Nujoma (2nd Street), Harare, Zimbabwe Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 4 764085/705370/708118 Email: info@zlhr.org.zw www.zlhr.org.zw FOLLOW US:@ZLHRLAWYERS ON TWITTER | ZIMBABWE LAWYERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ON FACEBOOK [8]


Response to Externalisation of Funds Allegations

In March 2018, after the release of externalised funds list, Mpofu reportedly responded to critics on why his name did not appear on the list. He indicated that neither him nor his family owned any foreign account or done any foreign transactions.

I and my family nor my business have never (sic) maintained a foreign account or acquired any immovable asset outside the country. Please go through the list of the looters and you will never see anything associated with me or my family in it to the great disappointment of prophets of doom.

Awards

Trivia

Philanthropy

Despite being accused of 'practising vulture capitalism', Mpofu has done some charitable work around the country especially in the Matabeleland Province. Together with his wife they have donated tonnes of grain to 600 families in the district of Ntabazinduna.[4] He has also on numerous occasions been said to be the patron of financially troubled Highlanders Football Club, and also pays for the school fees of several underprivileged children in Primary School in his Province.

Luxury Life style

Mpofu was reported to own luxurious properties and one such property is his flamboyant rural mansion in village 4 Nyamandlovu which many reports indicated is no match for his other luxurious properties elsewhere which are allegedly only rivalled by those which appear on MTV and other television magazine programmes.[9]

Mpofu divulged that he owns a number of properties in the country. These include the popular York House, a house in Greystone Park, another one in Borrowdale and many other properties in the city. Mpofu also admitted that he owns several houses in Victoria Falls which he said are used to accommodate his workers. Besides properties, he professed that he is one of the biggest cattle ranchers in Zimbabwe with a herd of about 4 000 and has also been leasing Cold Storage Commission farms in Matabeleland. Mpofu was cornered to declare assets after his claims in the court that he was "too rich to take bribes" He had made the statement s in a case of alleged corruption in which he was being accused of demanding a bribe of US$10 million from aspiring investors in the Ministry of Mines.[10]

References

  1. Obert Mpofu Tenders In Resignation ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, published: 26 Sep 2018, retrieved: 12 Oct 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Obert Mpofu, , Published: , Retrieved: 28 November 2017
  3. Obert Moses Mpofu, Africa Confidential, Retrieved: June 25, 2014,
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 From Rags to Riches, the Obert Mpofu Story, Nehanda Radio, Published: November 16, 2012, Retrieved: June 25, 2012,
  5. D. Nemukuyu, How I Became Rich: Mpofu, "The Herald", published:07 Oct 2014, retrieved:07 Oct 2014"
  6. Minister Mpofu paper falls on hard times, New Zimbabwe, Published: January 21, 2015, Retrieved: January 22, 2015,
  7. Lincon Towindo, [1], The Sunday Mail, Published: June 1, 2014, Retrieved: June 25, 2014,
  8. Grace Mugabe’s Victims Awarded $30 000 Compensation by High Court, Obert Mpofu, ZRP Boss Matanga Ordered To Pay, , Published: 2 March 2018 , Retrieved: 2 March 2018
  9. Flamboyance,Minister Obert Mpofu’s splash rural home, Iradio, Published: June 14, 2014, Retrieved: June 25 2014
  10. C. Laiton, Obert Mpofu cornered to declare assets, "Newsday", published:07 Oct 2014,retrieved:07 Oct 2014"