CONVERSATIONS WITH MAWERE
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- Mutumwa Mawere -
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Why banks deserve caution
Posted on May 21th 2013
In 1980, President Mugabe's vision of a new Zimbabwe born from the womb of oppression and exclusion compelled him to add the following words to his historic speech whose content and context is still as valid today as it was 33 years ago: "Let this be an example of us all to follow. Indeed, let this enjoin the whole of our nation to march in perfect unison from year to year and decade to decade towards its destiny."
The destiny that he was referring to must have been a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive and cohesive economy characterised by shared growth, employment and equity built on the full potential of all citizens.
The ownership structure of the economy was skewed then in favour of the white minority and the banking infrastructure was built on exclusion but independence opened the door for all the citizens to construct new models appropriate for the new dispensation.
The fact that "Old Mutual" exists in post-colonial Zimbabwe cannot be blamed on the evils of the past but the inherent inability of the few who have been privileged to preside over the various organs of the state including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe ("RBZ") to use state power to affect outcomes.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Birth, redlining and citizenship
Posted on May 20th 2013
In 1980, President Robert Mugabe said: "Independence will bestow on us a new personality, a new sovereignty, a new future and perspective, and indeed a new history and a new past. Tomorrow we are being born again; born again not as individuals but collectively as a people, nay, as a viable nation of Zimbabweans."
In the same year, Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede, who happens to share the same birthday with me was appointed the Registrar General of Births and Deaths as well as Elections.
At the time, he was only 36 years old and now at 69 he can claim legitimately that he is the only black Registrar General that post-colonial Zimbabwe knows.
Both President Mugabe and Mr. Mudede are ZANU-PF members and come from Zvimba. They have also been at the helm of their respective institutions since independence.
A person who decides who is and who is not citizen is an important person in any jurisdiction. Mr. Mudede also has a say on who can and cannot vote.
Zimbabwe after all only exists because of the law and, therefore, to be a citizen without documents is tantamount to reducing the country to an animal farm.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – One-size-fits-all
Posted on May 13th 2013
President Mugabe said: "Let us rejoice over our independence and recognize in it the need to dedicate ourselves to national unity, peace and progress."
The promise of independence has yet to be fully realised by all and there is consensus that the prosperity that was promised has not been shared.
In the face of poverty, inequality and unemployment, there are many people who believe that state intervention holds the real promise.
The agenda of changing the lives of the majority remains important now as it was at independence even to those who have been privileged to lead the nation.
It is ironic that the forthcoming elections will be fought on the basis of which party can deliver the promise of shared prosperity when in 1980 this was the primary objective.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Inclusion
Posted on May 06th 2013
The transition from conflict to peace though generally unexpected; the speed with which it occurred gave people hope that the future could only be better and not bitter.
The expectation that the exclusion that characterised the colonial era would end with independence has largely been betrayed by experience.
Zimbabwe in 2013 remains divided along racial and class lines.
The ethnic divide that many hoped would end with independence has remained a constant feature of the post-colonial experience.
President Mugabe comes from one ethnic tribe and to the extent that he has been the only leader of the nation, albeit via democratic means, has not allowed a member of another tribe to call himself or herself, "head of state, commander-in-chief and head of government."
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Perfect Peace
Posted on April 29th 2013
Zimbabwe was born from a womb of violence and conflict and, therefore, there was reasonable expectation at independence that peace would not only prevail but sustainable in the post-colonial era.
Rhodesia was a state characterised by violence and racial conflict. The establishment of racial equality and a working political order that would serve the true interests of all, therefore, became the charge of President Mugabe's administration.
Independence generally promised prosperity on matters of social and/or economic welfare of all the people of Zimbabwe.
Peace is something that is intangible but its absence is unmistakable. It is difficult to quantify and measure but the last election in 2009 clearly demonstrated that the failure of the post-colonial state to deliver on this important and fundamental variable.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Judgment Day
Posted on April 25th 2013
If tomorrow was judgment day and all the aspiring Presidential candidates including President Mugabe, the country's only post-colonial leader, were standing on the front line and the people of Zimbabwe legitimately asked as they are compelled to do, what they all did with the time The Lord gave them and the borrowed power, what will they say?
There is no doubt that protocol and age will dictate that President be the first one on the line.
The President will no doubt give an account of his 33 years at the helm of the post-colonial state.
He is after all the most and only experienced black Zimbabwean to have occupied the position of head of state and government.
In 1980, he made promises to the people of Zimbabwe and such promises to deliver peace, prosperity and economic empowerment.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Majority Rule
Posted on April 23th 2013
In the case of Zimbabwe, the last 33 years have been dominated by blacks in all the organs of state and any failure by the state to deliver on the promise of independence cannot, therefore, be legitimately blamed on the tiny minority white population.
The executive branch of government has known of no other leader than the incumbent.
It cannot be said that the head of government was influenced to undermine the interests of the majority to the extent that in 2013 an absurd occurrence is now the order of the day in which the majority now believe that they need the assistance of the state to assert perceived economic rights that cannot be obtained through market forces.
For one to appreciate the relevance and efficacy of the indigenisation and economic empowerment drive in 2013 one has to accept the proposition that state actors were blinded by an alleged conspiracy of whites and their backers not to focus their eyes on the real price.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Leaning Forward
Posted on April 22th 2013
On 17 April 1980, President Mugabe was an inspired and inspiring man imbued by a mind that sought to look forward and yet in 2013, he appears to be leaning backwards like a man who looks at a rear view mirror to find direction.
President Mugabe has been blessed not only with a long life but with being the only face to preside over the state of independent Zimbabwe.
As the only face in the book of 13 million with the privilege of assuming the title: "Head of State, Commander and Chief and Head of Government," he has a lot of explaining to do for the people of Zimbabwe to understand why peace cannot exist with economic injustice and why the country has not used the 33 years of independence to create a new order and personality as he promised.
This is what he said in 1980: "Tomorrow is thus our birthday, the birth of a great Zimbabwe, and the birth of its nation. Tomorrow we shall cease to be men and women of the past and become men and women of the future. It's tomorrow then, not yesterday, which bears our destiny."
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – The flight with a confused path
Posted on April 22th 2013
He was acutely aware on 17 April, 1980 that the people who had voted his party to lead the first administration of an independent Zimbabwe wanted a new flight course and a pilot who understood and was up to the challenge of leading a divided nation.
So when he chose the words: "free to choose its own flight path and chart its own course to its chosen destiny" to describe the journey that lay ahead for Zimbabwe, he must have known that the flight he was to captain needed a defined and confused path and destination.
What then did the people of Zimbabwe expect from the journey of independence?
The people of Zimbabwe wanted and deserved a government that would protect their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
They knew as President Mugabe must have known that the march to independence had been painful and long and nothing could be done to restore the lost lives and injuries inflicted.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Preserving Open Society
Posted on April 21th 2013
On 17 April, 1980, President Mugabe spoke on the eve of the birth of a new nation and his state of mind at the material time is important for any historian to capture as it gives a glimpse of the views held then and now on key and fundamental nation-state building values.
President Mugabe understood then the imperative to protect the value of co-existence of citizens of different cultures, faiths, races, classes, and languages that ought to form the cornerstone of any successful and progressive secular society.
A conversation with President Mugabe using the words that he voluntarily chose is useful in measuring the success or otherwise of the post-colonial dispensation.
What did President Mugabe say about his vision for the new baby, Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
Posted on April 19th 2013
Notwithstanding, I am fortunate to have been a part of the entire post-colonial experience and, therefore, competent to make some of the observations that are necessary if the next 33 years of the post-colonial journey has to be different from the first 33 years.
Zimbabwe has had only one leader since independence that has contributed to shaping and defining of the character of the country.
The liberators of Zimbabwe must have had a vision of a new Zimbabwe and as we all look back we are compelled to compare where Zimbabwe was and where it is now but more significantly we all can imagine where it could have and should be.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Targeting foreign-owned banks
Posted on April 16th 2013
It is clear that after 33 years of independence, there is no consensus on the relevance and efficacy of the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment program with respect to building a cohesive, inclusive and prosperous nation.
The proposed indigenization of the banking sector has regrettably been reduced to a personality battle between the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment, Hon. Kasukuwere and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr. Gono and in so doing help distort the core issues that have to be addressed if Zimbabwe has to deliver the promise of a prosperous and empowered nation.
Zimbabwe is no longer an infant state that can afford to engage in directionless and counter-productive discourses.
After 33 years of nation-state building, both state and non-state actors must have learned something about what matters in advancing the human cause and spirit.
Hon. Kasukuwere whose assignment in government is to administer the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act has made a case that there should be no scared cows.
Zimbabwe@33 – Peace, Prosperity & Economic Empowerment – Taking Responsibility
Posted on April 15th 2013
Zimbabwe will turn 33 on Thursday, 18 April 2013 and I am one of the lucky ones to have witnessed the journey of independence that offered hope to many so it is only appropriate to use this week to reflect whether indeed the post-colonial experience has delivered peace, prosperity and economic empowerment of the majority that independence promised.
What we do know is that a 33 year old Zimbabwean has no memory of what it was like before independence and yet this born-free generation has used the time to put a positive mark on the Zimbabwean brand.
Some are professionals of note while others have chosen different stages to play their part in the stage called life.
Zimbabwe 2013 – A revolution betrayed – A conversation on indigenization – Missing Accounting Logic
Posted on April 08th 2013
Accordingly, the books of accounts must always be in balance.
With respect to the Zimplats Indigenisation ("ZI") transaction, the agreed purchase price for the indigenisation shares is US$971 million and this is to be provided as a loan by Zimplats Holdings (Private) Limited ("ZHL") to the three indigenous entities.
In terms of accounting principles, every dollar of liabilities is accounted for by another dollar of resources or assets. This should be true also for indigenisation transactions.
What really will the balance sheets of the three indigenous entities reflect?
It is reasonable to assume that Nieef, community and employee trust vehicles used to acquire shares from ZHL are nominally capitalised as it is common cause that the three beneficiary entities have no assets or liquid funds at their disposal.
Zimbabwe 2013 – A revolution betrayed – A conversation on indigenization – Vilification of the Judiciary
Posted on April 01st 2013
Animals are also born in particular locations but the law of the jungle prevails, as there is no government to protect not the strongest in the chain but the weakest.
Animals and human beings do not have a better claim on God's given resources to claim them as their and to premise the promise of a better life solely on indigenization programs that only seek to alter share registers of already existing enterprises and projects.
The only country in Africa to qualify to be a member of BRICS is South Africa and the size of its economy betrays its inclusion in the club.