Mujuru: Econet saga explained, 10 pct

Mujuru: Econet saga explained, 10 pct – NewZimbabwe 31/03/2016

FOLLOWING my instalment last week in which I addressed the allegations of looting the war victims compensation fund, the Chiadzwa diamonds and the alleged complicity to political violence by Dr Joice Mujuru during her stint in Zanu-PF, I got several requests by readers that I address the alleged role that Dr Mujuru played in ‘denying’ businessman Strive Masiyiwa a licence to operate a cellular phone network.

The allegations against Dr Mujuru are that she, somehow, influenced government decision to award the licence to Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd because the person who fronted the Telecel bid, James Makamba, comes from the same province as her.

This allegation is based on pure ignorance on how the saga around the tender for Zimbabwe’s second cellular phone network punned out in as much as it has a limited appreciation of the relationship between Makamba, Mujuru and Masiyiwa.

It is trite to point out here that the three, Mujuru, Makamba and Masiyiwa all hail from Mashonaland Central Province therefore the allegation that Mujuru awarded Makamba the licence because he is a ‘homeboy’ does not hold water since both Makamba and Masiyiwa are Mujuru’s ‘homeboys’.

The second issue that comes out seems to suggest that there was bad blood between Mujuru and Masiyiwa and for this reason Mujuru remained intransigent and insisted that Masiyiwa would not get the licence.

Very few people know that it is, in fact, Mujuru who provided Masiyiwa with his first government contract when she awarded his company called Retrofit the contract to electrify Nembudziya Post Office in Gokwe.

It is also a fact that the decision that Zimbabwe was supposed to only have two mobile cellular networks was not a Mujuru decision but a cabinet resolution based on a technical report which Mujuru alleges did not give plausible reasons as to why the country was to have two cellular phone operators not three.

In just the same way, the decision to award the tender for running Zimbabwe’s second cellular network to Telecel was not reached by Mujuru unilaterally but by a government tender board housed in the Ministry of Finance not Information, Posts and Telecommunications where she was minister.

Those who followed the saga would agree with me that Mujuru actually concurred with Masiyiwa that there were irregularities in the way the tender was handled by the Tender Board but differed with the businessman on how the irregularities could be rectified.

Mujuru insisted that the process could be rectified by instructing the Ministry of Finance to constitute a new tender board to re-adjudicate the bids while Masiyiwa insisted that because there were irregularities in the way the tender board handled the bids, the court, on that basis, was supposed to award his company, Enhanced Communications Network (Pvt) Ltd, the tender to run the second cellular network.

The Herald of 5 June 1997, under a headline “I won’t contest order over cellphone tender” reported that the then Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Joice Mujuru, was not going to “contest a court order setting aside the award of the tender for Zimbabwe’s second cellular phone network to Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd” but “she wants the proposed new Government Tender Board to re-adjudicate the tenders”.

Mujuru conceded that true to Masiyiwa’s observations, “the Supreme Court laid down procedures for the tender” were not adhered to and therefore the “tender process had been deficient” and that this was “the fault of the Tender Board” hence “the tenders should be re-evaluated by a new Tender Board” that the Ministry of Finance was then putting in place.

It was Mujuru’s argument then that “the High Court should not consider awarding a licence to Econet without referring the whole matter to trial so that the ‘many serious disputes’ in Econet’s statements could be put to test.” Mujuru wanted an adherence to the rule of law and due legal processes to be followed before the court could award Masiyiwa the tender.

Her preference to have the bids subjected to re-adjudication was on the understanding that this was a quicker way of resolving the saga. She, however, insisted that the option of going to court remained open for Econet arguing that “If the court thought the new board was unsatisfactory, then it could make its own order, after hearing the evidence (and determine) who should have the licence.”

Never at any point, during the tender process, did Mujuru make deliberate efforts to determine the outcome of the process. She, rather, insisted that the laid down tender processes were supposed to be followed as demanded by the Supreme Court which had come up with the procedures. When Econet successfully challenged the tender process she concurred with the company’s observations and recommended that the bids be re-adjudicated by a new tender board.

Apart from the Econet licence saga, Mujuru is alleged to have been in the habit of soliciting 10 per cent bribes from companies. This allegation was popularised by First Lady Grace Mugabe with the help of seven hired Zanu PF provincial youth leaders who recently confessed in an interview with a South African based television station ANN7, that this was a lie concocted and shoved upon them by President Robert Mugabe after he had bought them slim fitting suits and paid them $3,000 dollars each.

However, like the Chiadzwa diamond allegations, the Dr 10 per cent allegation had a genesis totally divorced from any criminal intentions. Mujuru, after making a very splendid presentation on the potential business that Zimbabwe could do with Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven Emirates that make the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Sheik of Ras Al Khaimah, at a banquet held for the former Vice President, announced that he had “given Joice 10 per cent of our GDP to finance imports from her country.”

The deal involved the identification of around 300 hundred local farmers that the government, through a loan from Ras Al Khaimah, would buy irrigation equipment and tractors so that they could grow horticulture products for export to the Emirate.

The cost of such exports would be around $400 million which was 10 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ras Al Khaimah. This was the 10 per cent that was given to Mujuru, a 10 per cent that was supposed to benefit more than 300 hundred farmers with irrigation equipment and tractors. A 10 per cent that was going to earn the country $400 million annually in foreign exchange, yes a 10 per cent that was never going to get into her pocket but was meant to change the lives of 300 hundred farmers and their families.

But when Mugabe felt he was “under siege from Mujuru” as Godfrey Tsenengamu puts it in the ANN7 interview, he chose to bastardise an otherwise clean deal that Mujuru had gotten for the country in order to malign his former deputy’s character and dent her chances of challenging him at the elective congress that was slated for December 2014.

So many untrue things have been said about Mujuru and they are not limited to allegations of economic crimes. Her detractors have mastered even the art of voyeurism. They have designed very huge, but opaque, binoculars through which they peep into her domestic life in the hope of finding material to use for attacking Mujuru the “Mother of Zimbabwe” through denigrating “Mujuru, General Solomon Mujuru’s wife”.

Of late, whenever, Dr Mujuru’s party hogs the limelight, whether through well attended constituency rallies or a policy pronouncement, some sections of the state media rush to recycle untrue stories about her alleged hardheartedness in dealing with contrived children of Gen Mujuru and his ‘second wife’.

What is interesting is that the state media unashamedly chides Dr Mujuru for being inconsiderate to the so-called ‘second wife’ of General Mujuru when Joice Teurai Ropa Mugari and Rex Nhongo (General Mujuru) on 02 April 1982, under Marriage Act (Chapter 37) certificate Number 148 of 1982, solemnised their union under a monogamous marriage Act which criminalises marrying a second wife.

Rather than chide the so-called second wife as a home-wrecker, a concubine and adulterer, they elevate her to the level of a second wife with ‘a right’ to the late General’s estate. Instead of applauding Dr Mujuru for not being litigious and quick to sue the woman for adultery, the state media accuse her of not feeling for a woman, who, if she was really in love with General Mujuru, is nothing but a shameless adulterer, gold-digger and a social pervert not qualified to earn even a penny for her shameless hobnobbing with married men.

Mujuru the mother is also being unfairly attacked for not caring for the so-called 20 children that General Mujuru is alleged to have sired out of wedlock even if some of them, at 20 years of age, only got birth certificates in 2014 without the assistance of any relative of their supposed father and in the absence of their father’s death certificate. It is a scandal, but a scandal with state players that is aimed at getting at Mujuru the mother of the country.

The accusations and negative media spins around Mujuru will never recede as long as her political star continues to shine brighter and brighter. As we move towards the elections in 2018 and with Zanu PF as old and fragile as its 92 year-old centre of power, the attempts at soiling Mujuru’s reputation are going to grow louder and even more desperate and silly.

NB: Next week, I will address the allegations that Mujuru did nothing for women as minister of government and as Vice President.


  • comment-avatar
    Piankhi 6 years ago

    Some of the allegation against Mujuru may be pushed on her because of the fear from the President she could challenge him. That is correct. But there are other corrupt deals that herself and her family have participated in and taken money from other business arrangements. The Airport stand concession is one, River Ranch, another, and I can go, on, and on. This has nothing to do with politics Zanu PF or any other in fighting going on. The facts are this is the normal behavior of the political groups fighting to get the highest office, wether Zanu PF, MDC, and ZPF. Look at the personal wealth of each of the parties heads and others within. Zimbabwe is no different from any other country in the world when it comes to corruption. It everywhere on the continent. Just more extreme here. All the deals that have been made since libertation if you look carefully have not benefited any of the common Zimbabweans only the higher political elite. Facts. There is so much information that will be put out soon that will expose all these devils. You see I understand the nature of the white man that ruled here and Zimbabweans suffered for that. And that is the nature mostly for all white people. But the suffering that is going on from Liberation until current, is all internal. FACTS. The systems needs to be cleaned completely, to limit the open looting that this country suffers from now. There needs to be a change. A HOUSE CLEANING. EVERYONE CURRENTLY NEEDS TO GO. If you leave one rotten apple in the bag, it will eventually spoil the rest of the apples. And that is the problem. Moving one bad apple from office to office, but never considering just getting rid of the bad apples completely. Stories are for children. I only deal with facts. So the lesson to be learnd from this article. Mujuru is the lessor to the 3 Evils that fight for the high office at hand. But non the less they are all still evil.

  • comment-avatar
    VaNyika 6 years ago

    Thanks for your defensive article.What you wrote is an opinion & the facts still remain. l still remember when uMdala Joshua Nkomo wanted to intervene in the Masiyiwa saga your Dr went to extent of calling Nkomo names that he was old and senile.What you are try to do is to defend what can not be defended You should advise to apologise for for whatever wrong she did to the people of Zimbabwe,Full stop.To me it seems you have a lot of skeletons in the cupboards & you just want just swept aside.She should accept full responsibility & apologise if we are to move forward as a people.The way l see it you want to be more smart than Mugabe & once in power she is going to outdo whatever Mugabe did. Infact we have a lot of people in Zimbabwe. Have we run out of leaders to the extent of want to recycle people. She has had her time,34 yrs to be precise & still want more time.

    • comment-avatar
      Piankhi 6 years ago

      You must have not read my post clearly. I said they were all thieves. Mugabe, Mujuru, and Tsangarai. All three parties. They all want to be at the top to continue to pimp the people. Mugabe has just been the smarter of the three to stay at the top. But his time is finished now. Nature is taking care of that. So much damage has been done to this country by all of them that it is to late to repent. So now they will all go. It is time for the new generation the youth to make decisions on their future. Good or bad they must step up to leadership. Next time read before you speak. And comprehend before you think. Peace

      • comment-avatar

        yu sound so g40 but its okay as you said nature will take care of evrything mai mujuru is doing this for the pple politics is a dirty game so anyone can use their tactics and win mugabe is jus staying on top for mow bcause no1 can take on him without risking their lives. tsangirai and mujuru are our last hopes zanu pf will nvr change thy will always be corrupt inefficient liars bootylickers shameless thieves and violent culprits we want a new zimbabwe wth a lot of freedom prosperity we want change we want to live wthout the fear of death imposed by mugabes stalwarts reasonable he claims to be getting 12000 a month yes he is gtting that much because he has already stolen enough please evryone lets unite against the mugabe regime we can win back zimbabwe even if its old and tatred we can rebuild zim to its former glory lets work together and protest against mugabes bullyish and dictatorship

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    Mixed Race 6 years ago

    @Piankhi,which youths are you talking about because the currents youths are very dirty and completely misguided and naive.Look at what they are trying to do,ie, they want to organise a million youth people for the demonstration in support of the current leaders instead of concentrating in raising badly needed food for the starving people.These youths are so brainwashed that they are like zombies and useless to the future of this country.They want a big financial institution like CABS to freely give them money to buy these second hand Japanese cars,judging them by their previous behaviour.

    • comment-avatar
      Piankhi 6 years ago

      It is not about youths you refer to. But about the youth in general. Yes these youth you speak of have been misguided. But the does not mean all of them are corrupted. They are young and can hear many things. They are young and have the ability to change once something is given to them of value. We often spend most of our time talking about financal matters of the country, and lost sense of the culture. Facts are everyone is not going to hear the truth. And that is their choice. It only matters about those who become conscious enough to want to help those that are stuck. Always do for self and kind before you do for others. The laws of nature and culture. We have to remember these facts in order to become successful as a people again. We have been distorted by other peoples culture, languages, and beliefs and now need to start and adhere to our true culture and values. If not we will continue to suffer. And that is not an option for my children and their future.