By Mutsa Makuvaza
ZANU PF Secretary for Finance Patrick Chinamasa has crashed into the New Year 2022 with the step of a wounded lion: he says the year 2021 saw him lose not just his most prized assets and belongings, but also a good portion of his health was lost.
The former Finance Minister recounts three “misfortunes” he says befell him and his family in 2021, some of which left him staring death right in the eye. Chinamasa, a dedicated Catholic who plays key roles in the church in his Rusape area, says he survived only by the grace of God.
“As 2021 draws to an end my resolve is to give the year a back kick and forget the unpleasant events that occurred to me during the year,” Chinamasa recounts.
“For me 2021 was Annus Horribilis, a horrible year. A year when disasters and misfortunes hugged me and side by side became my constant companions.”
“In January 2021 I contracted COVID-19 and unable to breathe freely the oxygen in the atmosphere (which by the way we take for granted) was hospitalised for 10 days and was sustained by an oxygen machine.
“After I was discharged from hospital I had two weeks of daily physiotherapy sessions under the care of a Physiotherapist to help restore the functionality of the lungs which Covid-19 had partially disabled. Through the grace of God bit by bit over a long period I recovered my health,” Chinamasa reckons.
“On 10 July 2021 while driving on the Rusape to Harare road about 2km from the tollgate around 6pm, I was involved in a near fatal accident. Driving behind an old lorry laden high with heavy, poorly secured scrap iron junk loose pieces and poles, the scrap iron junk pieces and poles slipped from the lorry onto the tarmac onto my vehicle,” said Chinamasa.
The accident torched a grapevine wildfire as some observers linked it to his role as acting Zanu PF national commissar, the position widely regarded as the most dangerous in the ruling party. His vehicle was reduced to a pile and the veteran politician ended up hospitalised for days.
“I was saved by the airbag which popped out and hit me hard in the chest and palm of my left hand. I was again hospitalised for a week to allow doctors to monitor my condition in particular whether I had suffered internal injuries as well as to administer medical drugs to mitigate the excruciating left palm and chest pains.
“The palm and chest pains have not gotten away. Since the accident I have had to undergo weekly physiotherapy sessions to relieve the pain and at times have had to resort to Acupuncture treatment (i.e. Chinese traditional treatment through insertion of fine needles into the skin to relieve pain).
“The battle to rid of the pain to the left palm and chest is not yet won. My left palm is still weak to lift anything and as a result I have had to abandon playing golf.”
Regards the third and final misfortune (for 2021, at least!), Chinamasa says: “On 22 October 2021 between 3.30pm and 4pm the house I built in 1981 in Borrowdale was gutted by a raging fire. The fire destroyed everything I have worked for the past 49 years of my life-literally everything.”
So huge is the loss that Chinamasa remains in mourning to this day, and will do so for the rest of his life. While furniture items may be replaced, Chinamasa lost many irreplaceable vitals of his life including memoirs and drafts he had worked on for long. He will have to re-do them, but there may not be enough time anymore…
“I mourn and grieve the most the irreplaceable loss of my library, manuscripts, documents, records, memorabilia, family photos etc. Through the grace of God there was no loss of life or any injuries suffered.
“I am grateful to friends and relatives who have sustained me thus far through generous gifts of suits, shirts, ties, shoes, sheets, blankets, accommodation etc. I shall forever remain perpetually indebted to them.”
The Zanu PF Politburo member is however refusing to go into the New Year 2022 with a dim view. He is optimistic the misfortunes of the year just gone by are now just pictures in his rear-view mirror and won’t happen again.
“To 2021 I say good bye. Fare thee well. I embrace 2022 with zeal and optimism with assured expectation of a Zanu PF resounding victory in the forthcoming Parliamentary and Local Authority By-Elections.
“I wish Zimbabweans from all walks of life compliments of the New Season.”