Zim business: quit calling Bob names

via Zim business: quit calling Bob names – The Perfect Storm | Moneyweb The perfect storm Author: Sipho Ngcobo

Where farmers went wrong years ago and how business needs to change its tack.

What do you when, as a multi-billion dollar global mining company, you wake up to the news that the newly-elected government of Zimbabwe where you do business, plans to seize control of foreign-owned mining operations without compensation?

Do you scream at the top of your lungs in the hope that the international community will come to your rescue? Do you organise a legion of soldiers of fortune to unseat that government and replace them with your own puppet administration? Do you call Bob Mugabe names . . . like black dictator, black lunatic . . .  Or do you simply cover you face with both hands and cry?

Not a single one of the above options would work.

Whatever may be your tactic, learn a lesson from what the white Zimbabwean farmers did or failed to do in the face of those land grabs more than 13 years ago.

Let me take you back a little.

In the year 2000, during the height or the heightened beginning of the land grabs, Mugabe was addressing Zanu-PF supporters in what was his last campaign of the parliamentary elections in the Chinhoyi District.

I was standing right in front of him as I was covering that story, and Mugabe publicly invited white Zimbabwean farmers to sit around the table with him to discuss the matter of farm grabs.

“Come, come. Let’s have a discussion,” he said.

It did not happen. White Zimbabwean farmers were in a furious mode. So, the farmers lost out, Zimbabwe lost out.

Mugabe and his policies aside, white farmers failed to sit around the table with the man (Mugabe) to find a meaningful solution to what was a looming socio-economic disaster. Instead, they organise themselves into a few bands of military style militias to defend their farms against the so-called liberation war veterans with disastrous consequences. A lot of people died, including farmers.

After those early land grabs, there was a tremendous drop in agricultural output with exports suffering severely, resulting in starvation and famine. Zimbabwe which was the sixth largest producer of tobacco in the world in 2001 produced a third less of that produced in the previous year, the lowest volumes in 50 years. Zimbabwe had once been so rich it was considered the “bread basket” of Southern Africa.

Today, Zimbabwe is struggling to feed its own population. Some 45% of its people are now considered malnourished.

So what should mining companies do today?

Do yourselves a favour: engage Mugabe and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere whose portfolio includes directing the foreign transfer of foreign companies’ assets to black Zimbabweans and government.

Engage, engage. Sit them around the table until you find a solution. Who knows? You might surprise yourselves at those roundtable discussions. You might find these guys are not monsters after all.

You owe it to your shareholders, staff and some of those communities where you do business, and most of all you owe it to yourselves and your consciences.

Executives of companies doing business in Zim, were employed to lead and managed. This includes managing governments. In crisis like these, please go to the table and engage.

Good luck ladies and gentlemen.

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 21
  • comment-avatar
    Chiwaridzo 7 years ago

    My question to you Sipho ….. why did Mugabe embark on a land invasion excercise in the first place , using scores of so called war veterans and ZANU mobs ? The Commercial Farmers Union, Govt. of Zimbabwe and the donor community had already agreed to a land redistribution policy in 1998 in Harare, the Govt. of Zimbabwe signed the document… So get your facts right ….. The farmers sat around the table with Mugabe and agreed on a plan …. Mugabe trashed the plan …. So now what ?

    • comment-avatar

      What was the agreed plan that Mugabe trashed?

    • comment-avatar
      Murairwa 7 years ago

      Point of correction. They made an undertaking in 1979. At the ceasefire agreement and last constitution formulation.

  • comment-avatar
    Farai 7 years ago

    Sipho you need to do more research about farmers before making accusations with little credit, look up the information made public by Wikileaks e.g. Old Mutual and Delta both offered to compensate for 500 farms each but were turned down, also look at the concessions that the then CFU president offered GOZ. in reality you have some good points here but ZANU enacted the indiginisation laws specifically to take over Zimplats so there is no way of saving the mine.

  • comment-avatar

    The point Sipho made is that executives must engage with Gvt whether this means selling one’s soul is something else. Are the executives capable of engaging? Is Kasukuvere capable of engaging?

    • comment-avatar

      The only way Zunupf can engage, is by taking their shoes of and waiting for oil to come from a rock.

      • comment-avatar
        Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

        KIKIKIKIKI makes me laugh. Kuda zvinhu, manje n’anga yacho dhiri musango. Zvidhara izvi hazvinyare. Makaro oga oga.

  • comment-avatar
    Kusvikazvanaka 7 years ago

    Once a guerrilla always a guerrilla. This man won’t change. He is a rigger whether you have facts or not…he will rig the negotiations in his favor, so none should trust him whether it’s during the day or night…Listen to this: ZESA is going to be broke soon after he and his comrades used electricity worthy USD250 000 each on average and they now preach of scraping all this. Someone stays in a half room in Mbare and owes ZESA just $45 and Mai Mujuru owes over USD634 000 and suddenly both these accounts should be scraped. Where is the logic? Tell me. Someone please tell me. This bla bla bla of sitting down and trying to reason with these guys won’t yield anything. Whilst we were busy with formulation of the new constitution, Zanu PF was perfecting it’s rigging system. Do not try to convince us that there is any chance to negotiate anything with a specialist mob only thinking of themselves. We are sorry for MDC agreed to get into GNU with this mob. Very very bad indeed. This time they rigged more than they can chew…Let’s see how the economy will improve. No words can describe how perfect their rigging system is except NIKUV!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Kusvikazvanaka 7 years ago

    Doing business in Zimbabwe is like taking your only got into a cackle (group of hungry hyenas). You will pay bribes amounting to 75% of your capital before you can run the business. We are looking at a system that will stay put as long as the Chinese are giving them the bribes and in-turn they will rip all the minerals. My suggested solution is for all workers in Zimbabwe to SIT in till they get money from the diamonds and other minerals. Why work when these riggers are staying better than the richest in the diaspora and there is 95% unemployment…someone tell me please.

  • comment-avatar
    chimutengwende 7 years ago

    Wy work and legitimise o gvn that cares less about your welfare. Wise up Zimbos

  • comment-avatar
    zimbo 7 years ago

    If I remember correctly the British government paid 33 million pounds for the first batch of farms to be appropriated around about 1998.The money was not used for the intended purpose,it vanished.The British government was not amused and rightfully so.Tony Blair,the then British PM,made it clear that the money did not belong the British government,it belonged to the British people.Any future payments would be made directly to the farmers.Mugabe did not take that kindly.He believed he was being called s thief.And true to form,has anything changed since?I make no apologies for the British,but Mugabe”s legacy is cast in stone.He is a thief, period.What do you sit down and discuss with a thief?I guess what”s the best way to take your own business without paying for it,wow.

    • comment-avatar
      Liki Wiki 7 years ago

      33 MILLION pounds thats the price of 10 farms .What abt the remainder.stop wasting your time on zimbabwe Ticharamba tichitongo kusvika madhongi amera nyanga

      • comment-avatar
        zimbo 7 years ago

        exactly,what about the remainder?I bet you don”t have one.Maybe you should ask Chombo for one.

  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 7 years ago

    “I was standing right in front of him as I was covering that story, and Mugabe publicly invited white Zimbabwean farmers to sit around the table with him to discuss the matter of farm grabs.

    “Come, come. Let’s have a discussion,” he said.

    It did not happen. White Zimbabwean farmers were in a furious mode. So, the farmers lost out, Zimbabwe lost out.

    Mugabe and his policies aside, white farmers failed to sit around the table with the man (Mugabe) to find a meaningful solution to what was a looming socio-economic disaster. Instead, they organise themselves into a few bands of military style militias to defend their farms against the so-called liberation war veterans with disastrous consequences. A lot of people died, including farmers.”

    Really? This is something that the independent media seems to be ignoring for some reason or another. Let the people know the truth, no matter how painful it is.

    So the whites actually refused to negotiate when they had the chance, eh? And for what reason? Surely they knew that, at the end of the day, they are sitting on land that their grandfathers “borrowed” from the folks who lived there before 1880. I did hear that some of them tried to cash in on the Lancaster House’s “willing-buyer, willing-seller” clause by raising the prices of their farms. Maybe these were the same folks who shouted the loudest against negotiating with Mugabe. Perhaps the land reform would have taken a different path if the white farmers didn’t behave like the typical entitled white brats commonly found in South Africa.

    In fact, how could white farmers not see the land reform situation coming, given similar events happening to other African countries that were liberated earlier, along with rumours that circulated during the 1990s? Perhaps they rationalised that they could literally buy themselves more time, and rake in a bit more money for their foreign bank accounts (and yes, many of them have foreign investments).

  • comment-avatar
    reason 7 years ago

    Bullshit, the real thing in Zimbabwe was white vs black, the land thieves vs the landless natives. In that kind of confrontation there
    are causalities, but eventually the winner will emerge. As it appears now Mugabe is turning out to be the winner whether you like it or not and the people are firmly behind him. These are the true facts which the Western and White media leave out deliberately and instead concentrate on hallucinatory tales.

    • comment-avatar
      Sikalazo 7 years ago

      I am sorry no body is behind Mugabe. Reason, why are you called reason? I would think you should be reasoning like your name not bull shitting. You are behind Mugabe not every body is.

      • comment-avatar
        Murairwa 7 years ago

        I am. my family is. My friends are. My cousins are. My neighbours are. My countrymen are. A whole lot. You remain in denial. Suit yourself.

  • comment-avatar
    Chiza 7 years ago

    Reason: You talk about mugabe winning ,win what, when people in the rural areas are been fed by aid agencies from outside zimbabwe’
    the day that we open our eyes to the fact the mugabe and zanu PF do not have the best interest of the once great nation at hart,wake up
    you can not defend satan .Mugabe is a destroyer of dreams,

  • comment-avatar

    The Fast Track Land Reform was primarily about destroying the farm worker voting block, and in that it was successful. As a side effect, it did destroy the livelihoods of millions of citizens though.

    The myth that Mr Mugabe is a revolutionary soul trying to empower his people and indigenize the national wealth is not borne out by the facts… Operation Gukurahundi, Operation Murambatsvina, Operation Zuva Rabuda, Operation Dzikisa Mitengo: can you remember these and other brutal acts of force against the civilian population?
    There was nothing to discuss in any of these cases. Mr Mugabe’s agenda in each case was the retention of power and there was no room for compromise.

    With regards to the mines, the situation is not much different. Negotiations have been tried; solutions agreed; and then the goal posts are moved again. Mr Mugabe’s power is not under any external threat at present; the principle threat to his continued rule is the succession race within his own party. A platinum mine or two may buy some significant loyalty.

  • comment-avatar

    ladies and gents…….zim with Bob DEAD and is the last nail on the coffin..Mupanduki….Asijiki