Moyo rubbishes Mugabe, Mujuru

HARARE - Serial political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo has described people questioning Zimbabwe’s so-called biggest indigenisation deal as treacherous, in bold claims viewed as taking aim at President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Mugabe and Mujuru, just like the Daily News, have questioned the implementation of the $971 million Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Limited (Zimplats) indigenisation deal.

Mugabe in an interview aired on State television to mark his 89th birthday even went on to admit that Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere got it wrong when he agreed to bond Zimbabweans to a debt with the foreign-owned firm in exchange for shares.

Mujuru said last week that while empowerment was good, there was need to guard against corrupt activities during implementation.

Three days after Mugabe’s widely publicised negative comments about the deal, Moyo has come out blazing against such criticism.

Yesterday, Moyo writing in the state media described attempts to offer alternative solutions to the implementation of the programme it as “cheap propaganda”.  Moyo’s accusation is bold, given that he now sits in the politburo of Mugabe’s Zanu PF.

Although he has attacked Mugabe in the past, at one time describing him as “excessive burden” or “so unpopular he could lose to donkey”, — this was when he had been booted out of Zanu PF.

In his scathing attack published in state media yesterday, Moyo equated those sceptical of the Zimplats deal as pursuing a “scandalous agenda”.

Interestingly Moyo’s piece appears side by side with the interview in which Mugabe expresses reservations on the Zimplats deal.

“Witness how what started mid last month as an alleged media expose of alleged corruption in the implementation of the Zimplats Indigenisation Transaction has now come full circle with growing indications that the alleged expose is in fact nothing but a spirited media scam that is yet to be exposed and whose main objective is to subvert the indigenisation policy as a whole in the vain hope of robbing Zanu PF of the foundation of its revolutionary policy platform ahead of the forthcoming make-or-break plebiscite,” wrote Moyo.

But during his interview, Mugabe conceded that Kasukuwere messed up.

“I suppose the problem is on the 51 (percent) that was acquired being regarded as a percentage that needed to be financed by our side and being financed by the company itself. So problem ndiyoyo yekuti vakatipa 51 (percent) vachiti chikwereti chatiri kukupai asi tiri kukubhadharirai mangwana mozobhadhara mashares iwayo. So that is the difference.

“I think that is where the minister made a mistake. He did not quite understand what was happening and yet theory yedu ndeyekuti resource iyoyo ndeyedu and that resource is our share that is where the 51 percent comes from,” said Mugabe.

However, Moyo said the anomalies which came into limelight following a Daily News expose on February 14 was based on “nefarious political agenda against Zanu PF”.

“Perhaps the most shocking (fifth) development is that last Monday on February 25 the Anti-Corruption Commission sought to secure documents from Nieeb in a manner and against the background of a public scenario that smacked of gross and intolerable corruption by the very same body that has the constitutional responsibility of guarding against the very scourge of corruption it exposed itself to,” said Moyo.

Moyo claims the Anti-Corruption’s action was baseless, illegal, corrupt and constituted criminal abuse of duty.

The Tsholotsho North MP further says all attempts being made by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe to regularise the Zimplats deal was inappropriate and illegal.

“In a very disappointing way, (the third) development that is central to the unfolding saga of orchestrated opposition to the indigenisation reform programme, the RBZ summoned Zimplats last Wednesday and Thursday and abused its institutional power to scare and frighten the company from proceeding with the implementation of the term sheet it signed with Nieeb on January 11 2013,” said Moyo.

Mugabe however, has expressed his strong views over the “shoddy work” done by Kasukuwere. In the process Mugabe has hauled the young over the coals — he suggested the Mount Darwin South legislator was dancing to the whims of foreign nationals at the expense of the poor who own the minerals.

According to deals signed by Kasukuwere and several miners, for instance, Zimbabweans will only be able to lay their hands on the actual shareholding until after at least 10 years after paying off their debts and under a much-discredited vendor financing scheme.

While several analysts have said that locals may even fail to pay for their shareholding in the prescribed period, this form of financial engineering relates to a process where an established company lends money to an entity seeking to buy into it.

Under the Zimplats deal, for instance, 31 percent was issued to National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (Nieeb), 10 percent to employees and the other 10 percent was given to Ngezi-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust.

Apparently, if the Zimbabweans fail to pay the cash in 10 years – which is almost certain considering Zimplats has declared a $50 million dividend in the past decade — they will be given 10 days within which to pay the cash or they will forfeit the shares.

Also, what endangers the vendor financing deal is that Zimplats has already posted a staggering loss.
Zimplats registered a $6 million loss in the half year to December 31, 2012 down from a $68, 4 million profit recorded in previous comparable period.

Since the Daily News broke the news on February 14, it has since emerged that the proposed mechanism of ceding 85 percent of the dividends to repay the $971 million loan in 10 years is unsustainable.

At 10 percent interest per annum, the indigenisation parties will need to make an annual repayment of approximately $158 million.

Mugabe, who has been in power, since the country got its independence from Britain 33 years ago, is using the indigenisation programme as his last trump card as the country gears for a watershed election.

The former guerrilla leader, who at 89 is likely to be contesting his last election with indigenisation as the last ace up his sleeve, boasts of having brought sovereignty, empowerment and total independence but the recent revelations that Kasukuwere was tricked presents a major setback. - Tendai Kamhungira

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