Big brains hounded out of Zim

MAVERICK businessman and Zanu PF member Philip Chiyangwa surprised many when he questioned government’s decision to hound out of the country several business people.

He said in a statement: “Now let me tell you something that will make this country turn around.
“This country has so many literate, very educated smart people, ikozvino Mthuli Ncube ari kupi?

(Where is Mthuli Ncube right now) he is located somewhere uko ku (in) Netherlands, big brains, Nkosana Moyo ari kupi (Where is he?), even Arthur Mutambara ari kupi? (where is he?)

“Why would we have no space for open views and for making money in Zimbabwe, we have no space because our leadership as long as you thrive and make it on your own they are not happy.

“Please they must get the hell out of our way, we need space… We cannot have Strive Masiyiwa (Econet Wireless founder) stay way out of here because the moment he is here, they start cooking up charges of externalisation.”

Indeed most successful Zimbabwean businessmen have been hounded out of the country by President Robert Mugabe’s government and are living in foreign lands creating jobs there.

Chiyangwa hit the nail on the head about the true situation in Zimbabwe, where several business minds are holed outside the country in the form of Masiyiwa, Mutumwa Mawere and James Makamba to name just a few.
Makamba, who had a television station and a controlling stake in Telecel is living large in South Africa creating jobs while back home his kith and kin live in poverty eking a living as vendors.

Not that they do not want to invest in their motherland, it is the government that does not.
Masiyiwa wanted to bring jobs to Zimbabwe through Kwese TV but was blocked by government.
Chiyangwa said this almost a year ago.

These individuals are heroes abroad; they have been made villains locally, owing to the government’s fear of their potential politically or otherwise.

Political analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa said when it comes to investment in the country, Zanu PF thrives on corruption.
“It is basically because of the political philosophy which underlies the Zanu PF’s approach to investment. Investors are expected to bribe the officials in government and the investors concerned are expected to be aligned to the ruling party.

“Therefore, the politics of patronage which Zanu PF has been following determines who gets what when and how,” Hamauswa said.

The people now in exile are business-minded and have the capacity to bring a massive turn-around in the Zimbabwean economy, which has been ailing for nearly two decades.

Indeed just like the biblical Jesus: “No prophet is accepted in his hometown” and Zimbabweans are chased away like common criminals while foreigners are received with velvet gloves.

“As Chiyangwa said, most of these business people were frustrated by the government for one reason or the other, resulting in them launching their businesses outside the country, employing foreigners.
“Right now Masiyiwa is engaged in a serious battle with the government in his bid to launch his Kwese TV in Zimbabwe, where there is capacity of him creating thousands of jobs for the locals.”

The development has set the stage for another bruising legal battle between Econet and Mugabe’s government, which lost a highly publicised battle against the telecoms, media and technology group’s founder in 1998.

Econet Media recently announced the introduction of Kwese TV in Zimbabwe, to compete with the country’s sole State-owned television station as well as Naspers’ Multichoice. Indications were that Kwese TV would ride on a third party licence held by Dr Dish.

Ironically, the company has made inroads into the rest of Africa, but continues to struggle to find a foothold in Zimbabwe.

Just like Masiyiwa, Mawere was frustrated after government interfered in his flourishing Shabanie Mashaba Mine (SMM) Holdings, which employed thousands and supplied asbestos to several southern African regions, bringing in the much needed foreign currency.

The blinded-government, which thrives on ego and political supremacy, has itself been failing to create jobs for its citizens, with over 85 percent of the people now in the informal sector, despite the ruling party’s promise in the run-up to the 2013 elections to create 2, 2 million jobs.

For example Ncube, who set up Barbican Bank, left the country under a cloud after he was accused of externalisation and had his financial institution shut down. Moyo quit as a minister and is now running a leadership think-tank in South Africa.

This has left the government clutching on straws as foreign investors are hesitant to invest in the country owing to the political environment, while the few that are allowed to invest do so under shady programmes.
Another analyst Maxwell Saungweme echoed Hamauswa’s sentiments, claiming that Zanu PF uses corruption and shady deals to award would-be investors an opportunity to invest in the country.

“The Zanu PF regime only supports local businesses that acquiesce to corruption and shady deals at the behest of the party’s officials and those that donate to party programmes. 

“They also don’t want to see any prolific business people who are also smart in politics as they fear that they will end up taking over political power and leadership of the country using the twin ingredients of money and political clout.

“This is why the likes of Masiyiwa, Mawere and Makamba will never be supported by this paranoid regime led by failed politicians and business people. It’s as simple as that.

“Zanu PF businesses are crumbling and much as the economy is going down. They can’t run business neither can they run the country,” Saungweme said.
—Tendai Kamhungira



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