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Caroline Du Plessis



The post-colonial history of Zimbabwe, although 43 years old, contains so many distortions to expose the illiteracy that informs its corrosive narratives.

Although Hopewell Chin’ono and Rutendo Matinyarare may not agree on my things, their interpretation of the import from this video of 1996 when the then Minister of Justice, the incumbent President of Zimbabwe, H.E. Mnangagwa, attended a gathering of non-resident Zimbabweans (NRZs) in December 1997 that was hosted and financed by Mr. Mutumwa Mawere, a resident of South Africa at the time who in March 1996 had through his British Virgin Island registered investment holding company, Africa Resources Limited (ARL) had acquired the entire issued share capital of a UK registered sole parent of SMM Holdings Private Limited (SMM), a Zimbabwean registered company pursuant to a commercial Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Among the people who attended and participated at the event whose aim was to provoke, ignite, and inspire the NRZ like Non-resident Indians to pool resources to invest in their countries of birth, included Dr. Arikana Chihombori, the late Stan Mtangi, Dr Michael Paul, Godfrey Gomwe who was the Chairman of SMM.

The video below has been weaponized by both Hopewell, a journalist, and Rutendo, a propagandist trying to win awards in his yet to be defined craft, to provide evidence in support of their respective worldviews on alleged self-serving problem statements.

Hopewell’s narrative is that Mnangagwa is the CHIEF LOOTER OR PRESIDENT OF LOOTING and that this video confirms that the looting enterprise prosecuted by Mnangagwa using surrogates started in 199.

He alleged that the video and Mnangagwa’s untested assertions to the fact that public funds were allegedly looted by indigenous Zimbabwean business actors using the agency of vehicles like the IBDC and AAG as a confirmation that looting was the reality.

Although President Mnangagwa did not name the alleged beneficiaries, opportunists on both sides of the problem statement has sought to use the utterances to advance their own arguments.

In this article, an attempt is made to put a spotlight on Rutendo’s take on this video regarding his narrative devoid of any evidence that the government of Zimbabwe or public power was the cause and sole reason for ths post-Rhodesia black corporate experiences.

Set out below is what Rutendo wrote in aupport of his hypothesis:

“This video is proof that as I said, the Zimbabwean government deliberately and actively invested in creating black millionaires in the 1990s, by investing taxpayers money into the businesses of many of today’s black millionaires and billionaires of Zimbabwe.”

In asserting the above, Rutendo’s argument is that a causal link exists between the existence and operation of a deliberate policy to create black millionaires using public funds in the 1990s and the aversions made in the above video by President Mnangagwa.

Common sense logic and reason that must necessarily be fact-based would inform that a law to purportedly promote and protect so-called indigenous persons was only enacted in 2007 and as such there was no legal framework to deliver what Rutendo imagines was an outcome to inform his diatribe on matters that fall outside his personal knowledge and factual matrix.

In the 1990s, no facts exist of the purported policy and no record exists of Parliament the organ of state responsible for allocating public funds, being used to dish out the purported funds.

ITo the extent that it is Rutendo who alleges that public funds were deployed in this alleged project, he suffers the burden to prove his allegation.

It is not in dispute that public funds are public property and as such records should exist to support the bold allegation that the cause of blacks becoming millionaires was premised on some discretionary use of public funds involving Mnangagwa as a principal.

It can be noted above that Rutendo oblivious of his duties to tell the truth, he squanders the opportunity to speak to data that must and ought to be in existence.

He then naturally leaves the reader in a place where the unmistakable conclusion is that Mnangagwa is a certified corrupt and mafia-type operator with surrogates like Mawere, the alleged predecessor of Tagwireyi per Hopewell narrative.

Riutendo then further asserts as set out below:

“At that time, Strive Masiyiwa was the Secretary General of IBDC and as you can hear, the Minister of Justice saying, most of our black millionaires were part of organizations that were given money to build their businesses by the Zimbabwean government (over $1.2bil when the video between 1989 and 2000 was made).”

Even an infant would know that Mnangagwa could not have been referring to Strive Masiyiwa whose journey to capitalization is a subject matter that led to litigation in South Africa in which Rutendo was cited as a Respondent in the matter in which Strive complained that the allegation that the Econet was fraudulently conceived and prosecuted constituted defamation against not only.Strive but companies as follows:


The absurdity of the aversions made by the same Rutendo who was sued by Strive and Others is that this litigation would not have been necessary if he respected the truth and the rule of law.

If the version of the existence of a public policy to lift indigenous people up, then why did Rutendo simultaneously allege patronage as linked to Econet when the fraud allegations relate to a listing through which funds were raised?

With no shame at all, Rutendo then as if he is a sangoma, went on to allege as follows:

“They were given this money to build black businesses so that they could reinvest and transform the Zimbabwean economy and so that in future they become the investors, funders, bankers, innovators and industrialists of the economy.”

It is important that Rutendo be challenged to provide proof that public funds were used as alleged.

It is instructive that having created a fraudulemt and self-serving nareative of patronage in relation to black persons, Rutendo has the aidacity to ask these rhetorical and provocative questions:

“Have these people played their part in building Zimbabwe? Have they created new black millionaires and have they industrialized?’

With respect to the allegation that the invented beneficiaries of a nullity or no credit, it would be self-evident that if public funds were used as alleged by Rutendo, then surely a paper trail should exist showing the relationship between government as a creditor or presumed financial blesser.

There is no reference to any documentary evidence supporting the alleged contractual nexus between the government and the purported beneciaries.

If a creditor to debtor relationship existed between the government and alleged debtors existed as a matter of fact, then Rutendo is alleging corruption yet would not dare invoke s2 of the Constitution in terms of s2 and/or s167 seeking the court to determine if the impugned conduct is consistent with the constitution.

In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, no one is above the law.

Mr. Brian Musekiwa, a member of the BOAF CORPORATE HERITAGE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, an intitiative provoked by Mr. Mucha Mugota, said:

“With respect to the affairs of SMMH’s acquisition in the UK, the parent of SMM, I am glad that for my MBA dissertation I chose SMM’s affairs as my subject of inquiry and when I read versions peddled by not only Rutendo but by people like Hopewell, my proposition is that the task of exposing gossip mongers should be inclusive and community-centric.

I share below, letters exposing how the SMM acquisition started and executed.

What is striking is that there is no reference of Mnangagwa or any political actor in the cockpit.


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