Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says Minister Mpofu is a businessman who has sweated for his vast wealth.

He told parliamentarians who were calling for a probe into Mpofu;s wealth that their allegations lacked merit.

“I first met Honourable Mpofu around 1984 when I was going to Gaborone, Botswana with my family for a visit.

“We met at Plumtree and he was already a businessman. Later on, when I was an Attorney-General, I think I wanted to speak to him and he took me to his building. He had already bought it in 1998 — a very expensive building in Bulawayo. I am just telling you of facts that I know. I cannot defend him if there is anything or any monkey business. You know where the problem is Honourable Maridadi? We are not accustomed to see a rich African. We are very much comfortable to see a rich white person, but when we see a rich black man, we conclude that he is a thief. This is not a fair comment.”

“I am not entrepreneurial, but there are some people who borrow heavily and most of the things that you see, you would think that they have spent cash,” he said.

“Look into it, zvikwereti (loans). Some people are risk-takers. You would not go and borrow $3 million. I would not dare. Probably, I would go for $50 000 or $100 000 — ndinenge ndatopedza ( I will be done), but there are some people who take risks, if the bank rikangobwaira chete (snoozes), they will borrow $5 million.

“What they do with that money is up to them. If they have any debts, normally vanombokunyara kana uriminister (they might be extra courteous if you are a minister). Kana usisiri Minister (if you are no longer a minister), before you reach home, kunenge kwatove netsamba (they would already be a letter of demand).”