"Invest in the change you want to see"

- Mutumwa Mawere -

Business Class: The Battle of ideas – The power of the rule of law

Posted on October 06th 2015

Dear Mr. George Charamba aka Nathaniel Manheru,

I AM writing this open letter to you to add my voice to an article entitled: "Afriforum: Colour, Cause and Coin of White Rights," in which you raise a number of fundamental and critical issues regarding what is required to build a caring, just, inclusive, viable, and cohesive post-colonial state.

Mr. George CharambaYou will note from the title of this letter that the context in which I would like to engage you in this conversation is within the four corners of a class of business. For far too long, many of us have surrendered to a simplistic understanding of what a businessman is and what the purpose of business is; simply because of ignorance about what the true purpose and meaning of business is and should be.

It is the case that there is no school of politics and, therefore, its actors rarely do have any frame of reference to guide them. It is also the case that your boss, President Robert Mugabe, has had no equal or peer to learn from about his chosen craft. It is clear that although you have never been a President, the President is subjected to ideas that come from dreaming about statecraft largely because the post-colonial experience has failed to produce more than one elephant in the room.


Business Class: Letter to Mr Bart Dorrestein, Chairman of Legacy Hotels and Resorts International (Pty) Limited

Posted on September 29th 2015

Dear Mr. Dorrestein, AM writing this letter to you in your capacity as the Chairman and CEO of the Legacy Hotels and Resorts International (Pty) Limited ("Legacy"), the company that recently came to the rescue of African Sun (Private) Limited ("African Sun"), a company whose Zimbabwean heritage is well known and established.

As a person I have personally known for a long time, I feel compelled to write this open letter to you because of my business and personal experiences that may be of value to you and your company as you deal with some of the characters involved in the affairs of African Sun.

We have discussed on several occasions about the African condition, problems and prospects to uplift the continent that we all purport to love, and the general questions of the link between economic freedom and justice, equality and prosperity.

You have always wanted to keep a low profile but when you conclude a deal in Zimbabwe with a private company and manage to get a Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa, whose role in undermining the rule of law is well known and established, as one of your business mentors then one is compelled to pause and reflect on what is going on behind the headlines.


Business Class: Government of the people, by the people and for the people

Posted on September 22th 2015

GovernmentONE question that is rarely asked particularly in many post-colonial states relates to the construction, operations and purpose of a government and its human actors. In the beginning of time, there was no institution called a government yet in the course of human civilization, this institution has been presided by many men and women who have never paused to reflect on its true purpose.

The last human experiment with far-reaching global consequences was the rebellion of the settlers in the then thirteen states of the USA in the form of a positive document declaring the fundamental but not new values, principles and beliefs that they needed to bind themselves in traversing the untrodden path of self-rule.

Given the history of colonial control, it was unmistakable that the settlers who felt oppressed by the Imperial King and insensitive Imperial Parliament had to dig deep into their moral compasses to think outside the box about the kind of society they wanted to create to replace the unconstitutional democratic order.

The challenge of creating a society that delivers the promise through man-made institutions like a government of safety and happiness is not unique to the American rebellion. We all know that the purpose of a government, like any corporate juristic person, is to deliver the promise to humanity of a society in which the weakest person feels protected. In the animal kingdom, there is no purpose of a government precisely because the strong animals do not need the protection of artificial characters like a government.


People First or Mujuru First: An open letter to former VP Joice Mujuru

Posted on September 16th 2015

Joice MujuruThe focus on leadership as the panacea to the challenge of a better life for all produces absurd outcomes.

Such outcomes include the approach like the one at play in People First to reserve the presidential position for you, a decision that must have been taken by a few wise people and not the people that are purported to come first in your party's founding values, if any.

We simply need more conversations before recreating new monsters when the old one is still alive.

I AM writing this letter to you following your recent statement in your capacity as the presumed leader of People First, announcing that since your last statement of early June 2015, you had been hard at work developing your vision for a better Zimbabwe through what you described as a proposed Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development (BUILD), a prescription for which you and your colleagues believe to be the correct and appropriate medicine for what Zimbabweans needs to cure the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.


Business Class: The arc of the moral universe – A letter to Hon. VP Mnangagwa

Posted on September 11th 2015

Dear Hon. VP Mnangagwa,

I AM writing this open letter to you in your capacity as the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe as well as the current Minister of Justice.Hon. VP Mnangagwa

I have written an open letter to Mr. Dangote that has attracted a lot of interest. However, what is clear is that instead of playing the game, many observers find it easy to play the man and, in this matter, it is the case that my insights into the manner in which Mr. Dangote appears to have been given preferential access to Zimbabwe's Big Men, may very well have been misunderstood as an attempt on my part to discourage investment into Zimbabwe in a self-centred manner.

I stand accused rightly or wrongly of being a beneficiary of the same preferential treatment given to Dangote. I am mindful that in the minds of limited thinkers; there could be no better description than the one authored by Hon. Patrick Zhuwao to describe persons who use political influence to advance business interests i.e. speculative political entrepreneur (Speculative Political Entrepreneur) which description would place persons like Hon. Kaukonde, Dangote, and myself among others as SPEs.

In arriving at the conclusion that I ought to be placed in the box of SPEs, Mr. Zhuwao relied on his perception of the relationship between yourself and me especially in relation to the acquisition and management of SMM by Africa Resources Limited "ARL") in April 1996. It is alleged that in order to acquire SMM, ARL benefited from financial assistance provided in form of a guarantee by the government.


Business Class: Rule of Law v Rule of Big Men – A letter to Dangote

Posted on September 11th 2015

Dear Mr. Dangote,

I am writing this open letter to you as a concerned African.Dangote

My concern is limited to broader public policy and institutional issues arising from your recent visit to Zimbabwe and subsequent actions pursuant to your company's interest in investing in Zimbabwe.

I believe any decision to invest in a target country should be a voluntary and sovereign one. I am a Zimbabwean by birth and have been exposed to a number of experiences and insights that may add value to your decision making.

It is not my place or intention to discourage your company from making investments in Zimbabwe but merely to highlight certain issues that you may wish to consider.

It is not in dispute that Zimbabwe needs investment not only from your company but from all who wish to turn their capital into productive and profitable use.


Mawere Business Class: How best can economic justice and equality be won?

Posted on September 07th 2015

CIVIL rights were won in colonial Africa through struggles often taking the form of armed conflict to allow many to believe that the same tactics that may have assisted in delivering the promise of universal suffrage could work in respect of economic rights.

Unfortunately, there exists no example that has seen economic justice and equality won through slogans and political rhetoric let alone through the open and transparent intermediation of the state and its actors.

What do we mean by economic justice?

Economic justice is essentially a component of social justice referring to a set of moral principles required in the building of sustainable economic institutions whose ultimate goal is the creation of an opportunity-based eco-system in which each person can create a foundation upon which a dignified, productive, and creative life can be experienced.


Mawere Business Class: 'You need 90pct guts and 10pct capital'

Posted on August 25th 2015

WHAT is a businessman? What does it take to succeed in business? What is the role of political actors in business success? What is the purpose of business? How is wealth acquired and sustained?

The above are questions that often visit the minds of ordinary persons. The art of business tends to be personalised often in negative terms. On 18 July 2015, I was in the company of students at Orange Primary School celebrating the birthday of the late former President Mandela's birthday

The idea of doing 67 minutes of service in honour of the late President Mandela came from Mr Lucas Mukoto and his partner, Ntabiseng, when they visited my office looking for a representative of the National Association of Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) who used to be a tenant at the building. They were responding to a promise made by a representative of NAFCOC that loans could be made available. 


Zimbabwe Decides 2013 – Countdown to 31 July – “Mr. President, I presume?”

Posted on July 30th 2013

The countdown has ended for the hour has arrived for the 6.4 million registered voters to give their verdict as to who the next President of the Republic of Zimbabwe will be.

It will take up to 5 days for the people of Zimbabwe and, indeed, the world to know the identity of the person.

The four Presidential candidates include President Mugabe, the incumbent who, at 89 years old, has given the other three candidates a run for their money.

Ordinarily, such an experienced politician and state actor would have run on his record but the last 33 years have convinced him that the people of Zimbabwe are so hungry for history lessons and finger pointing tactics that it is hardly necessary for one to stick to what matters to an uncertain future if he were reelected.

Indeed, there are more than 3.2 million reasons why change is necessary in Zimbabwe.

What, therefore, is required today is that 3.2 million voters must indicate their preference for change by voting for one of the four candidates.


Zimbabwe Decides 2013 – Countdown to 31 July – “Mr. President, I presume?”

Posted on July 30th 2013

Independence promised an inclusive economy.

ven President Mugabe would agree that the gap between the few rich and the poor in contemporary Zimbabwe provides a better measure of how far the country is towards the destination that independence promised.

Some believe that a good job, a decent living, affordable education and health, security in old age, can and should be the business of government.

Indeed, the last 33 years of post-colonial rule has produced experiences of what can and should work to provide the basic economic rights of stability and fairness that the colonial model was never meant to provide.

The economy remains fragile and what is required to lift it cannot be tired and tried arguments about how best the government can rob the strongest players in the economy in order to distribute to the most vulnerable members of the society.


Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Mugabeism versus the people’s future

Posted on July 30th 2013

At independence in 1980, President Mugabe's worldview was full of optimism and hope of a brighter, inclusive, prosperous, just and cohesive Zimbabwe.

Over the last 33 years, instead of listening to the whispers of tomorrow, he has retreated to the pre-independence ideas, utterances, rhetoric, actions and behavior of a kindergarten revolutionary who has refused to grow up to appreciate that the ghosts of the colonial era will only be eradicated by addressing the present day challenges.

History, however, will be generous enough to secure a place for President Mugabe and his ideas that have been termed Mugabeism to reflect his pan-African economic redemptive ideology opposed to all forms of imperialism, neo-colonialism and neo-liberal economic thinking and dedicated to a state-driven radical redistributive project premised on addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.


Zimbabwe Decides 2013 – Countdown to 31 July – Taking Back the Economy – Battle between the light and the darkness

Posted on July 29th 2013

Under President Mugabe's watch, Bulawayo and many other cities have lost manufacturing jobs yet it is significant that on Saturday, 27 July he said that Bulawayo would rise again to reclaim its place as the industrial hub of the country.

Addressing a star rally of a crowd estimated by the Sunday Mail to be more than 40,000 people, he promised that the government would immediately end the city's water challenges after winning the elections this week.

He observed as if he has been living in darkness that the water woes, which are known to all who care about the future of the city, that this was an urgent matter, that needed to be addressed as it was getting out of hand.

No rational person would campaign on the slogan "taking back the economy" when regard is had to the fact that the manufacturing sector has paid the ultimate price during the last 33 years and, therefore, it would be ridiculous to take back shares in dead companies without changing the conditions and ideas that killed the affected companies.


Zimbabwe Decides 2013 – Countdown to 31 July – Taking Back the Economy – Minerals

Posted on July 25th 2013

Who owns the minerals of Zimbabwe?  Are minerals capable of being owned?  What is the relationship between the state and minerals?

The concept of "mineral" includes any substance, whether in solid, liquid or gaseous form, occurring naturally in or on the earth, in or under water or in tailings and have been formed by or subjected to a geological process, excluding water, but including sand, stone, rock, gravel and clay, as well as soil, other than topsoil.

Once minerals are extracted from the land, they become a distinct legal object separate from the land and normally become the property of a person other than the landowner or the miner.

In most countries, minerals form part of the common and shared heritage of the people.  The state is a legal construct that is incapable of claiming absolute rights to that which God or another force could only have brought into existence.


Zimbabwe Decides 2013 – Countdown to 31 July – Taking Back the Economy – Land

Posted on July 23th 2013

What is the true meaning of the statement "taking back the economy" which is the election campaign cry of ZANU-PF in 2013?

If this cry was coming from a newly formed party, one would understand its significance and import.

However, ZANU-PF is a seasoned party that was elected into office in 1980 to lead the charge to deliver the promise of a better and prosperous life but finds itself without a coherent message than a message that would have been more relevant for the circumstances prevailing in 1980.

President Mugabe in 1980 was alive to the humanly created and inherited land ownership structure as well as the need to democratize access to land.

Notwithstanding, he must have understood the role of enterprise agriculture and the need to promote and protect food self-sufficiency.  The land in question was always situated in the territory of Zimbabwe and, therefore, it was and will always belong to people who live in Zimbabwe.


Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – President’s Wagon

Posted on July 23th 2013

On the eve of Zimbabwe's independence, President Mugabe said: "Only a few hours from now, Zimbabwe will have become a free, independent and sovereign state, free to choose its own flight path and chart its own course to its chosen destiny.  Its people have made a democratic choice of those who as their legitimate Government, they wish to govern them and take policy decisions as to their future."

Indeed, Zimbabwe attained independence on 18 April 1980 and the promise of a free, independent and sovereign state has yet to be delivered as promised.

In life, it is easy to define a person by who he or she has been not by what one plans to be.

It is also easy to blame one person for past failures as it is to pin salvation on speculative future successes.

President Mugabe is just a single individual and yet he has acquired the persona of a super human being.



Mutumwa Dziva Mawere (born January 11, 1960 in Bindura, Zimbabwe), is an African business executive, pioneer, financier, banker and entrepreneur best known as the founder and Chairman of Africa Resources Limited ("ARL"). He is known for having built one of the most powerful and influential corporations in Zimbabwe's history


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