Kasukuwere's role in Zimplats deal must be explained

HARARE - Civil education is important and, therefore, the conversation on the implications of the Zimplats Indigenisation (“ZI”) transaction on public policy choices and actions necessarily becomes critical, not least because of the characters involved in the drama, but in order to establish whether the ideals of the revolution have been compromised or promoted.

Cecil John Rhodes held the view that: “Thinking was for the Europeans” and after 33 years of independence it is important to ascertain whether State actors including Robert Mugabe think differently.  

Is thinking for State actors one may legitimately ask? To the extent that the ZI transaction is an important project it is vital that we unpack it so as to better understand the State of mind of the players involved.

After 33 years of independence, when one reviews Mugabe’s speeches and statements it will become obvious that outside the state, there appears to be no one he is proud of as a businessman.  

In fact, if he were to be asked who he most admires as a businessman, he may very well have Chinese names or foreigners in his vocabulary choosing to trust minister Obert Mpofu and Saviour Kasukuwere to be native commissioners on empowerment and mining.  

Surely, 33 years is long enough for Zimbabwe to produce its own agents of inspiration.

How sincerely can one talk of indigenisation without human characters in it after a journey of 33 years?
We thought independence was going to break traditions, remove colonial edicts, and more importantly create new rituals and respect.  

Even those that want to take after me are told that I stole money from myself.  

There are a number of Zimbabweans who tried to change Zimbabwe by creating focus and straightening its story by doing something that brings pride to a people long accustomed to being treated as “kaffirs” and promoting the “can do” attitude only to be stopped in the act by none other than black gatekeepers wearing State uniforms and bearing intimidating instruments.  

Zimbabwe has produced wise and intelligent people, but the attitude that pervades the thinking in government is that such people cannot be trusted to be principals in the battle to deliver the promise of a better life.  

What has changed from Rhodes to Mugabe? Rhodes was proud of his heritage and could find no place in his world view for kaffirs and he never pretended he was on their side. Mugabe speaks the right language but in practice under his watch very few role models, if any, have emerged in the sphere of business.

Such points of light would be self evident in the structures of Zanu PF and the failure to attract business inclined people in the party speaks volumes about the mentality that informs its choices and actions.

So when Jonathan Moyo talks of indigenisation, he must pause and reflect on the reasons why even beneficiaries like Brainworks’ principals of the indigenisation programme will never want to be part of the party choosing to benefit from bad choices when opportunities present themselves.

Much has been said about the Term Sheet in respect of the ZI transaction. I set out below important observations on why I believe that the “kaffir mentality” is still alive and well in post-colonial Zimbabwe.  

It is clear from the above that the execution version of the Term Sheet was in respect of the ZI transaction in question.

The purpose of the Term Sheet which Brainworks helped put together is as set out below:

It is significant that the nation has been told that the indigenisation programme seeks to empower communities through community share-ownership schemes and management and employees through employee trusts and yet they are not represented in this key document.

Rather, the parties to the deal are as follows:

If it was the intention of the indigenisation programme to allow the State and its organs to assume the driving seat in indigenisation transactions then surely the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act was the wrong instrument.

Rather nationalisation that would appear to have been the correct and appropriate instrument.  

What seems evident after 33 years of independence is that the government does not trust its own people. In fact, the observation that the indigenisation programme is a creative nationalisation programme that seeks to avoid the constitutional challenges that nationalisation would impose is not farfetched.

If it is a duck then it surely must quack as one. Indigenisation is not what is on paper.

Can someone explain what the role of the ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment is in this transaction? It is contemplated that the following indigenous entities will benefit from the transaction:

When I hosted in South Africa the delegation led by Kasukuwere in February 2010, I recall that there were representatives of the community and, indeed, there was a chief from the area that Zimplats operates in.

In addition, Bright Matonga who was part of the delegation was presented a representative of the target community.

The events that unfolded in South Africa that the nation ought to be aware of left a bitter taste in me. I arranged a meeting with the former CEO of Impala Platinum, David Brown.

The meeting was attended by Kasukuwere, Matonga, Kura Sibanda of Top Harvest, and myself. During the meeting it emerged that. Kasukuwere was not comfortable with Matonga being part of the deal.

I went into the meeting naively assuming the whole empowerment and indigenisation programme was meant to assert the rights of individuals grouped in communities or entities to find their voice in the commercial market with the government playing a facilitative role only.

It was obvious that the indigenisation programme that Kasukuwere was pushing had nothing to do with the intended beneficiaries but a desire to allow the government through designated entities to control 51 percent of the issued share capital.

In fact, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (“ZMDC”) that has been used in the diamond transactions would have been more appropriate to sign the mandate.

After the meeting with Brown, Kasukuwere castigated me for bringing Matonga to the meeting.

If I could get it wrong then surely there are millions who may not also fully comprehend what is at play.

ZMDC is more trusted than Mawere in the case of SMM.  

NIEEB and State-created entities are more trusted than the workers’ committee at Zimplats and Matonga.

During colonialism, Matonga and Mhembere, for example, would not have been trusted but no one expected that a government led by a revolutionary like Mugabe would after 33 years in power exhibit the same tendencies.

It would be wrong to blame Kasukuwere for taking this approach. He knows better that his party and actors do not have faith in black people.  

The Econet case and others provide enough evidence that this is the case. More importantly, Mugabe has yet to include black names in his narrative about the successes of the revolution.

What we seem to get are words and not faces of real people that State actors are proud of.

Charity must surely begin at home. I am aware of thousands of Zimbabweans who have done amazing things against all odds but they find no support from the very people who hypocritically speak and act on their behalf.  

The government only exists because people who use it need it.

The government has no voice other than the voice of the people. When State actors crowd out citizens in commercial transactions then one must know that something fundamentally wrong is in motion.

Corruption becomes inevitable and ministers become arrogant and big-headed.
They begin to think like Rhodes. Although Matonga, a former deputy minister, had the ambition to be a new Rhodes he was stopped in his tracks by his comrade.

At the time, I told him that it would be wrong to regard the attitude of Kasukuwere as an indictment on his character rather it was a reflection of Kasukuwere’s understanding of what would sell politically.

Already it is known that even MDC has serious objections about a model that empowers individuals and that treats them as principals in commercial transactions.
Even within the MDC circles, native businesspersons are treated as minors.

The fact that MDC is not pushing for the resolution of the SMM matter may very well be that the assumed player is an individual and the party’s position is that nameless and faceless structures must be represented.
This kind of socialist thinking is pervasive to the extent that nationalisation is a preferred route.

The Act may say one thing but the consensus reflecting the Zanufication of ideas is that indigenisation should be transformed into a disguised nationalisation project.  

Using this ideology one can understand why people would not want to resign or even relinquish power in post-colonial Zimbabwe which has created “small gods” acting as State actors.

Finally, with respect to the Term Sheet signed on January 11, 2013, it is of interest to know the signatories. This is as set out below:

It is evident that natives still need Commissioners to act and choose for them even in the name of their empowerment. What has changed, if any, from the colonial days?  Maybe only the players and not the values and principles. - Mutumwa Mawere

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