Minister of Mines does well!
By Wongai Zhangazha
Zimbabwean Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu has been on a property buying spree the past few months, between January and April 2010. His acquirement of “high value properties” in Victoria Falls and Bulawayo has raised a lot of public attention.
According to The Standard the 27 properties he acquired in Victoria Falls alone over the past few months include a supermarket in Victoria Falls' Chinotimba high density suburb, three houses in a medium-density area, two cruise boats on the Zambezi, five houses in Mkhosana high density suburb, three houses in Chinotimba, two industrial stands, one large stand in Chisuma, one big industrial stand next to Chinotimba stadium, four industrial stands on the Airport road, and four medium density plots.
Payments are said to have been done in cash!
Lawyers say Fair Play!
However in court papers Mpofu’s lawyers justify their client’s property.
“Our client runs a successful tourism and safari business called Khanondo Safaris and Tours (Private) Limited, which holds hunting concessions and tour operations worth millions of United States dollars. Khanondo purchased five pieces of immovable property situated in Mkhosana, a high-density suburb in Victoria Falls,” said the lawyers.
They further said that the purpose of the “acquisition of the aforementioned immovable property is to provide housing for Khanondo’s employees. It is not unusual in Victoria Falls for safari operators to purchase immovable property for the purposes of providing housing for their employees.”
Referring to Mpofu they said: “He is also the majority shareholder in the company called Trebo and Khays (Private) Limited, which also owns York House in Bulawayo purchased several years ago from Old Mutual.”
Minister Mpofu’s company, Trebo and Khays (Private) Limited, in October last year was granted a US$1 million loan by CBZ Bank Limited and it is this loan that he says he used to acquire houses for his employees in Mkhosana, Victoria Falls.
“I have not even exhausted the facility. The purpose of the loan facility was to purely finance capital expenditure requirements,” said Minister Mpofu.
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