Is Jonathan Moyo speaking on behalf of Zanu PF?

HARARE - The revolution promised a just, equal, free, prosperous, inclusive, and transparent dispensation.

 After reading Jonathan Moyo’s latest contribution to the debate on indigenisation in an article entitled: “Cheap attempts to scuttle indigenisation” published by the Sunday Mail dated March 3, 2013 one gets the distinct impression that he wants to scuttle debate on a matter that raises fundamental ideological, legal, and policy issues.

 It is significant that President Robert Mugabe, the leader of the party that Moyo purportedly speaks on behalf of holds different views from him on how the indigenisation programme ought to be framed, financed and executed.

 Moyo as a legislator would be aware that Zimbabwe is a republic and that holding divergent and even contradictory views is healthy for democracy.

 Although independence could never be expected to produce a collective let alone individual roadmap to a better life, what it did was to free the mind so that people could take ownership of their destinies underpinned by an administration that respects their sovereignty, creativity and responsibility.

 What does Moyo take the people of Zimbabwe for?

 Evidently, he has failed to disclose his interest in the Zimplats Indigenisation Transaction (ZIT) and the contractual basis of the role of “spin doctor” that he seems to have assumed.

 Mugabe, who remains the leader of Zanu PF should ordinarily be the face of the party and also the government on this chosen key personal legacy subject of indigenisation and black empowerment.

 To Mugabe there is a direct link between the indigenisation programme and the liberation struggle and it is obvious that he wants to be remembered for doing this right.

 He has not accepted that the choices and actions of his government have played any role in increasing poverty, inequality and unemployment rather he believes that colonial history has and continues to be the injury to be cured through state intervention.

 To this end, the content and context of the indigenisation programme takes a national and strategic character that cannot be trivialised in a bid to protect undisclosed narrow and sectional interest.

 The need for advisory services in any transaction cannot be understated.

 Even financially illiterate persons would know that the difference between a businessman and a politician is that a businessman cannot force customers/clients to purchase goods and services supplied voluntarily whereas the government served by politicians has the power to collect other people’s incomes as taxes and there is no goods return policy.

 If one does not like a state actor after elections, one has to constitutionally wait until the next election to act.  

In terms of business, if a seller supplies one with a defective product, one can immediately seek remedies not available in real time to ordinary citizens against rotten state actors.

 Against this backdrop, any programme implemented by the state and its actors has to be accountable to the people from whom income is derived on involuntary basis.

 The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (Nieeb) is an organ of state and, therefore, when it procures services from the public including Brainworks it should be subject to the same rules that apply to other vendors.

 The facts of the ZI transaction need to be exposed not with a view to demonising any of the actors but to live up to the promise of the revolution that Moyo played a part in.

 It is the relationship between Brainworks and the Nieeb that is at issue.

 How did Brainworks get connected to the Nieeb?

Were other service providers given the same opportunity?

 By adding my voice and face to the debate, I have been privileged to receive from an anonymous source the key documents that allow me to debate intelligently with Moyo and hopefully add value to the transformation project.

 The first document that has to form the starting point in any informed debate on this matter has to be the Advisory and Mandate Letter dated June 8, 2012 as shown below:

As shown above, the letter was originated by Brainworks and addressed to Mr. Wellington Zengeza.  It would appear from the reference BCM/NIEEB/001 that it was the first formal contact between the contracting parties and more importantly that the mandate was not specific to any transaction but would guide the relationship between NIEEB and Brainworks.

 Moyo, a former minister, would know better that state institutions before engaging any contractor would need to know what they are looking to purchase and then invite the public to make proposals yet in this case it would appear that it is Brainworks that has the intellectual property on what needs to happen.

 The first paragraph of any letter reveals a lot like the first step of any journey.

Moyo makes the point that the ZI transaction has not been completed forgetting that even attempted murder is a crime.  

In this case, it is common cause that Brainworks got a boarding pass on a journey whose destination was known.

No other company was given an opportunity to be on the plane.

 The contents of the first paragraph are set out below:

It is clear from the above that the letter to a government agency was preceded by conversations and not a Request for Proposals (RFP) suggesting that only the people engaged in the conversation knew of the agenda to acquire shares in non-compliant companies.  

The compliance function was never meant to be outsourced yet the implications of this letter is that the Nieeb was failing to execute its mandate requiring the service of a “messiah” in the form of Brainworks.

 Given the political context of the indigenisation programme one would expect Brainworks to be partisan in the same manner that Moyo’s DNA functions yet there is no evidence that Brainworks is one of Zanu PF’s brain trusts.  

The brains at work appear to be motivated less by ideology but what can be financially gained from a government facilitated transaction.

 The second paragraph provides more details as follows:

It is Brainworks that writes its own mandate script and not the other way around.  The role envisaged by Brainworks is clear and so is the identity of the client.

It is the contents of the third paragraph below that raise some troubling questions.

 Who verbally appointed Brainworks?  

I am sure that all revolutionary heroes buried at the national shrine will be turning in their graves after learning that the government they fought so hard to create is engaging with the public in this clumsy and opaque manner.  

It is evident that before this letter was written that Brainworks was already in the plan playing its part in a journey supposedly of the people to the promised land of plenty and equity.

 The author of the letter discloses to Zengeza that Brainworks was already discharging services to seven companies including Zimplats without a formal mandate.

 The true purpose of the letter becomes evident in paragraph 4 below:

 This letter was written not by NIEEB as to be expected but by a service provider to formalise appointments already made verbally on the mandates and to cover future unspecified mandates.  

If this is not generally corrupt then Moyo may wish to define the meaning of corruption that Mugabe talks about without any visible evidence.

 The reaction of Moyo would seem to suggest that this is now the modus operandi of the people’s government otherwise if the same action was overseen by a politically undesirable person, he would be the first one to make the loudest noise.

 Hypocrisy is related to politics but not to the extent of defending this kind of shoddy and blatant abuse of the state by a few connected souls.

 Moyo would be aware that the said mandate letter was signed and, therefore, concluded to make the allegation that nothing is completed in so far as the role of Brainworks nonsensical.

 The remuneration of Brainworks has been a subject of debate, however, as set out below, it is clear what the company stood to make without competing to get into the plane.

 It would not take a genius to compute the income that Brainworks stands to make from this self-serving mandate.  

The signed term sheet contains the key numbers required to make the computation.  

In addition to the above, Brainworks stands to pocket more money from the deal as follows:

 I have no doubt that Moyo has reviewed the mandate letter and will agree with me that the following extract raises more troubling questions that need to be addressed in the public interest.

 Although Brainworks signed the letter on June 8, 2012, it was only counter-signed by the CEO of Nieeb on September 20, 2012 and not by Zengeza to whom the letter was addressed in the first place.

 It would appear that between June 8 and September 20, 2012, Brainworks was at work without any formal relationship with Nieeb.  

Who on earth authorised this?  

Who was aware of this untenable state of affairs?

 The corporate governance issues that emerge from this letter need to be addressed.  

How does Nieeb conduct its affairs?  

What is the role of the board, if any, in this matter?

 Already, the Chairperson of Nieeb, Nyambuya, has defended this transaction.  

 Perhaps he and not Moyo may wish to shed some light of his state of knowledge on the circumstances leading to the engagement of Brainworks and what was promised to the company and by whom for the company to commence work without going through any transparent and open process that the revolution promised to all. - Mutumwa Mawere

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