What is Jonathan Moyo trying to hide?

HARARE - After 33 years of independence, Zimbabwe finds itself at the crossroads with divergent views on how best to deliver the promise of a better life for all.

One would expect the country to be mature, correctly reflecting its true age and properly standing on the record and experiences of its citizens since independence.

Any 33-year-old Zimbabwean will necessarily have to account for his experience in life and not dwell on circumstances that existed before birth.

So when enlightened people like Jonathan Moyo add their voices to an issue, one must take notice not because of its political implications but the nature, content and context in which the issue is raised.

The promise of a prosperous, equal, just, caring, inclusive and cohesive Zimbabwe remains a mirage necessitating the need for the powers vested in the State to be borrowed to improve the bargaining power of the majority in a democratic society.    

A disagreement exists as to the reasons for the promissory note issued at independence not being honoured by the bank of justice, prosperity, and equality.

The worldview that informs Moyo and like-minded thinkers would suggest that transactions like the indigenisation of Zimplats and others help address the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.

In taking this view, a proposition is explicitly made that only Zanu PF can deliver the promise.

Accordingly, anyone who chooses to disagree with this proposition is easily and conveniently labelled a traitor.

The questions that Manheru in an article entitled: “Zimbabwe: Departing without deserting” repeated the questions posed on the SMM Holdings Limited (“SMMH”) acquisition transaction by many readers in response to my article.

These questions are as follows:  “What exactly was the nature of the deal? Did he pay for the takeover? Or was he going to settle the purchase from the exploitation of the Zimbabwean resource?

He himself tells us it was the latter, comparing the deal to a housing mortgage.

“Did he use the exploited resource to pay off the original shareholders?”

The same questions are applicable to the Zimplats Indigenisation Transaction (“Zit”).

It is fairly legitimate that Manheru asked these questions in relation to the SMM transaction notwithstanding the fact that when the acquisition was made in 1996, the Indigenisation and Empowerment legislation was not in place.

Accordingly, the relevance of the deal structure and its financing would not be of concern to any rational State actor as it involved two private contracting parties.

However, given the propensity in post-colonial Zimbabwe to look at any significant commercial transaction through political lenses, a need arises to address such questions.

So when questions are raised in the context of the Zimplats transaction, Moyo should appreciate that the hunger for answers as to how these transactions are structured and negotiated let alone the assignment of benefits to any role player is widespread and deep-seated.

If the promise of the revolution had been met, it would hardly be necessary to dwell on these questions as many transactions of this nature would take place in the ordinary course of business without the assistance of the State and its actors.

Moyo in observing that: “It is just difficult to understand how the governor of the Reserve Bank really believes he can get away with being used by the enemies of the indigenisation programme in and outside Zanu PF to publicly derail the revolutionary party’s national agenda through the so-called independent press that has never supported the programme and with the assistance of Rhodies like Hawkins and Robertson who have never supported anything revolutionary in Zimbabwe” exposes the problem that Zimbabwe is facing after 33 years of independence.

Moyo sees enemies and counter-revolutionaries in any debate and this is unfortunate.

I would like to believe that in his former classrooms, students were given an opportunity to freely and openly express themselves yet in this case, it would appear that any critique of the actions and choices of State actors appointed by President Robert Mugabe would be seen in bad light.

What is Moyo trying to hide?  What is his interest in the indigenisation transactions given that he is no longer a State actor?  Kasukuwere is a State actor and the authority vested in him to be relevant in such transactions is based on a law of the republic and not of the party.

It may very well be the case that Zanu PF supports the indigenisation programme but it is important to make the distinction between the party and government.

Any transaction done in the name of government necessarily has to be in the national interest and, therefore, even Gono has the constitutional obligation to interrogate such deals without fear or prejudice.

In fact, any honest person let alone political party would be grateful that a man closely associated with Zanu PF to the extent that he donates 89 cattle to the leader of the party on his birthday has the courage to state his mind so that the party may draw lessons and move forward in the knowledge that people are not idiots.

Moyo makes the observation that: “If by attacking the equity or ownership-based model of indigenisation in favour of the so-called supply side approach, the governor of the Reserve Bank is hoping to be a striker in the Bhora Musango brigade ahead of the forthcoming general election that is around the corner, he honestly and seriously should think again. This is not 2008. The game this time round is Bhora Mugedhi and the players are Zanu-PF only.”

To confirm that after 33 years in power, it would seem that Zanu PF has nothing else to seek a new mandate than the indigenisation programme as implemented notwithstanding the serious concerns that the transactions generate.

He then makes the point that: “This should be food for thought for the misguided comrades out there who imagine that they can settle their personal or political scores with the minister Saviour Kusukuwere by hiding behind Gono or by fronting him to fight the indigenisation programme in the treacherous hope that its failure would mark Kasukuwere’s political demise.”

This leaves no doubt that he takes the people of Zimbabwe for granted.

Even unsophisticated minds would know that Kasukuwere is a servant of the people of Zimbabwe and as such he is accountable to the very people from whom the government draws its legitimacy.
By making the statement that: “It has now become all too clear that when some spineless cowards in our midst want to attack a Zanu PF policy or when they want to attack Mugabe, they hide their nefarious agenda by attacking the minister responsible for that policy using all manner of subterfuge under the age old ploy that if you want to kill a dog that you don’t like, just allege that it has rabies,” it is obvious that Moyo does not make a distinction between Zanu PF and the government of Zimbabwe.

If he did, he would know the implications of such a reckless statement at this defining moment when the people of Zimbabwe are soon going to make a choice on what kind of dispensation they want to secure their future.

The mere fact that Moyo is a legislator must be of concern to all including members of Zanu PF whose party’s brand is tarnished by such irresponsible statements to warrant a reprimand.

The revolution promised a democratic constitutional order based on the rule of law and the separation of powers doctrine.

Moyo must know better and act accordingly.

If a learned professor behaves as if he is not schooled then the interests of the people who aspire to acquire the same title are undermined if we all are intimidated for political expediency into silence.

In the words of Manheru, the public needs to know exactly the nature of the Zimplats deal.

Who is the vendor in the deal?  What is being sold?  Is the acquisition debt going to be settled from the exploitation of the Zimbabwean platinum?

Is the platinum in the ground going to be used to pay off Impala Platinum for the shares?

The SMM acquisition financing was compared to a housing mortgage, a point that Manheru took exception to.

This being the case, it is important that the true nature of the Zimplats transaction be exposed.

It is for this reason that the opportunity created by what may be described as politically-motivated ignorance be exploited with a view to unpacking all the deals concluded so far to determine if they conform to the principles and values that informed the indigenisation act.

The role of Brainworks and the brains at work in the transaction also need to be unpacked in the interest of transparency and good order.

Even Moyo would agree that the Constitution of Zimbabwe compels all to be vigilant including him unless there is something he is hiding. - Mutumwa Mawere


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