CONVERSATIONS WITH MAWERE

"Invest in the change you want to see"

- Mutumwa Mawere -



Business Masterclass – The Guptas & SA State Security

Posted on December 22th 2015

THE GUPTAS
Who are the Guptas anywhere? What is their claim to fame? Do the Guptas pose a security threat to South Africa? What is the true nature of the relationship between the Gupta and Zuma families?

The relationship between politics and business in post-colonial Africa is pregnant with speculations and innuendoes to limit such an experience to a single family in a democratic constitutional order.

If the Guptas were part of the old money establishment, then their relationship with the ruling political elites would automatically be upgraded to a dignified and positive developmental one.

No other Indian family has captured the imagination and anger of so many people in South Africa than the Gupta family.

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The folly of the Zuma Must Fall campaign

Posted on December 14th 2015

President Jacob Zuma
ON Wednesday, 10 December 2015, President Zuma announced his decision to relieve Hon. Nhlanhla Nene of his duties as Minister of Finance and replacing him with Hon. Desmond van Rooyen.

The news broke at night and the impact of the removal and appointment decisions will continue to be subjects of an important debate about the quality, utility, limits and true opportunities of the post-apartheid and colonial democratic constitutional orders.

When Hon. Nene was appointed by President Zuma on 25 May 2014, the market was less hostile to the appointment decision but his removal has sparked unprecedented anger from principally predictable quarters who hold strong views about President Zuma's credentials and alleged fatal judgmental inadequacies to preside over Africa's most diversified and developed nation-state.

The rand, South Africa's currency, fell to record lows when the market learnt of the removal and the appointment decisions and actors began to process the perceived implications and alleged underlying rationale for the timing and decisions that only President is constitutionally empowered to make.

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Business Class: The lions of Africa – President Mugabe and Hon. Malema

Posted on December 01st 2015

President Mugabe and Hon. Malema
DOES Africa have artificial human lions? If so, would you agree that President Mugabe and Hon. Malema are the true lions or warriors of Africa? If not, what would your reaction be when you hear them being described as the true lions of Africa? How best can economic justice, freedom and prosperity bee secured?

When one looks back at this month of November in this year of the Lord, 2015, it will have dawned that 50 years ago on 11 November 1965, some hustlers in the then territory named South Rhodesia, declared that henceforth they would dissolve the bonds that had connected them with the United Kingdom, the country that is currently hosting the Commander-in-Chief (CIC") of the Economic Freedom Fighters ("EFF"), Hon. Julius Malema, who addressed the Oxford Union on Wednesday, 26 November 2015.

Hon. Malema's title, CIC, is instructive for it certainly must have been a product of a great idea that what was about to unfold from the operation of the idea informed the formation of the EFF as a political formation in South Africa, the most diversified and developed African economy, was an imagined battle to do what the late President Mandela and others are daily accused of failing to deliver and realize.

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Business Class: Thought leadership – Towards a Bank of Hope for Africa

Posted on October 28th 2015

Thought leadershipI AM part of a pilot project that seeks to discover, collate and showcase some of Africa's thought leaders on a variety of issues that matter to our common future. I also belong to a "what's up" group that serves as a platform for participants to share ideas, insights and experiences.

One of the issues that sparked a spirited debate last week in my social media network was the question of leadership and the role that leadership should and ought to play in changing the development trajectory of Africa. One view that was well supported in the network speaks to the need for Africa to have a leadership that is people-centred and forward leaning.

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Battle of Ideas: Mawere's response to Manyowa

Posted on October 22th 2015

Maynard Manyowa THE critical importance of understanding the interplay between institutions and human beings cannot be understated. The very essence of the human spirit allows for the transformation of ideas and dreams into concrete products and solutions that can add value to the experience of life.

Human beings exist but are perishable. They have a limited shelf life and institutions have the appearance of perpetual life simply because of the reproductive power of humans and the inherent seamless generational transition.

It is clearly evident in the reply of Mr. Maynard Manyowa titled: "Straw Men and Playing the Devil's Advocate - A response to Mutumwa Mawere" to my response to his construction that Zanu PF lives in the form of a monster that feeds on its children and their dreams too; that there is a lot of work to be done to improve literacy on institutions if Zimbabwe's promise of a better life has to be realised.

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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.

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

Posted on September 29th 2015

Dear Mr. Dorrestein,

http://mmawere.com/admin/gallery/1443519892.jpgI 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 birthdayhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpNy4L8uyqQ.

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. 

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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.

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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.

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About

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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