BY MOSES MATENGA
NEWLY-APPOINTED Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo says she has put all her political setbacks behind and will focus on the key mandate assigned to her to eradicate corruption in local authorities.
Chombo was in the political wilderness for long during the reign of the late former President Robert Mugabe, who once publicly chastised her over her protracted divorce process with former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo, who once held the Local Government portfolio.
Speaking after she was sworn in at State House yesterday, Chombo said she was forward-looking and ready for the challenge.
“Every politician has a journey and this was my journey and at least, there is light. I still have to prove to Zimbabweans that I can deliver. We were in a meeting with the President and he said we shouldn’t tolerate corruption and I will make sure I will do my best in that regard,” she said.
Ironically, Chombo’s ex-husband was at the centre of alleged corruption during his long tenure as Local Government minister.
During their divorce processes, Marian exposed Ignatius’ vast wealth, prompting critics to say the former Zanu PF secretary for administration was one of the most corrupt people in Mugabe’s government.
Ahead of the July 31, 2013 elections, Chombo was attacked by Mugabe after her decision to stand as an independent candidate.
She joined the former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party and later re-joined Zanu PF.
“If you lose, you lose, let us look forward. You are not the party. The party is still moving forward and so support the party. To those who lost, I do not know how many you are. There is Marian Chombo. Is she still a Chombo? She is refusing to be ditched, yet she was ditched by the party. She is saying she will stand against Chombo. Get away, you lost. We did not involve ourselves in your disputes (with Chombo), but this is our Zimbabwe,” Mugabe said then.
Ignatius was removed as minister and secretary for administration when Mugabe was deposed during the November 2017 military coup.
The new deputy minister said her new post was challenging, but she would be equal to the task.
“I am happy and also it is a challenge since there are lots of issues to deal with, including the issue of water,” she said.