How I deal with corruption – Strive Masiyiwa

via How I, Strive Masiyiwa, deal with corruption by Strive Masiyiwa for The Standard October 20, 2013

In one country we had a contract on which we earned over US$30 million a year. It was very important for our business. Two very powerful politicians demanded that I pay them a bribe of US$8 million to keep the contract. I refused.

They had our contract cancelled and we were thrown out. Then they replaced us with one of our largest global competitors from Europe, whose executives immediately paid the bribes. I reported them to the US Justice Department, as they are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

They admitted that their officials had paid the bribes and fired the officials. They left the country. One of the politicians was later indicted for corruption and is now serving a 13-year jail sentence. Years later we returned to the country and we are building our presence in that wonderful country again.

In another country, we submitted a tender on privatisation and we were recommended as the best by the international investment bankers advising the government of that country. The deal was worth hundreds of millions to us. We waited and waited for an announcement, but none came.

Then I was invited to the State House. The son of the President asked for a 20% stake in exchange for us being given the award. I refused and withdrew our bid. I have no regrets.

When the President had lost an election, we returned to that country and got an opportunity to set up and we are doing very well.

In yet another country, a retiring African President invited me to come and see him. He told me he had heard a lot of good things about our company. He said he wanted to issue one more licence before he left office and he felt that we should have it because we were an African company. He then suggested that I find a way to accommodate him quietly off shore, as he “needed something in retirement”. I politely told him that I was not interested in the licence.

We are yet to return to that country, but we will one day.

In one of Africa’s most respected countries, a policeman asked me for my driver’s licence as I drove to church one morning with my family.

I told him that I had forgotten it at home. He said that I had committed an offence, which I immediately accepted. Instead of giving me a ticket, he suggested that I pay him something.

I refused. He then threatened to arrest me and I said it was fine and he could go ahead. Several of his colleagues surrounded us, even verbally abusing me saying I would be deported because I was a foreigner.

I kept quiet. I never raised my voice, or was animated. I simply asked that they either arrest me, or issue me a ticket. After a while they said we could go. I refused and insisted they ticket me as they had an obligation to do so under the law. Now, they were totally terrified!

We have continued to prosper in that nation, but I never forget my licence when I drive a car!

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 33
  • comment-avatar
    maisokwazo 7 years ago

    THAT IS MY STRIVE MASIYIWA, STRIVE THE PRINCIPLED, STRIVE THE ADORABLE SON, STRIVE THE THRIVER AND THE STRIVER OF GOODNESS .THANK YOU, THANK YOU STRIVE. I FOR ONE HAVE TRACKED YOU WHEN JOICE MUJURU TRIED TO REFUSE YOU A LICENCE TO OPERATE ECONET IN ZIMBABWE AND WHEN JOICE MUJURU THE THEN MINISTER OF COMMUNNICATION CONNIVED WITH ONE JAMES MAKAMBA TO MUFFLE AND DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR DESTINY AND I REMEMBER VERY WELL HOW JOSHUA NKOMO STOOD WITH YOU AND WHEN HE WAS CALLED A STUPID OLD MAN BY JOICE. BUT DESPITE ALL THAT YOU STOOD AND YOU ARE STILL STANDING. THANK YOU FOR THE INSIGHT. THANK YOU FOR TRANSFORMING LIVES AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNTAINTED AND UNWAVERING PRINCIPLES. FOREVER CHERISHED BY PEOPLE WHO KNOW YOU.AND CONTINUE DENYING BEING CORRUPTED ZIMBABWE NEEDS AND YEARNS LEADERS LIKE YOU.

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    Gonzo 7 years ago

    God bless you abndantly Mr Strive Masiiwa

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    Gonzo 7 years ago

    We nid God fearing leaders like you

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    Austin Vuma 7 years ago

    You are doing the right thing Strive.
    l wonder if that will be possible in Africa with level on corruption especially, Zim?

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    easily fooled 7 years ago

    I feel motivated to read this…..i m so inspired……i have been forced to “buy me a drink” several times but after reading this piece…..i ll invite a ticket or go to jail. If only we could have 3 ministers like you in Zimbabwe.

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    Brave Rusike 7 years ago

    I have always admired this principled man. Keep up the good work Dr

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    One day you will be the present of Zimbabwe. We looking people like you.

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    Bernard Muzamwese 7 years ago

    Inspiring and a good example

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    Bernard Muzamwese 7 years ago

    Just wish we could have more people with same mindset

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    bhaisokopu 7 years ago

    Admirable! If our leaders could take even a few notes from Mr Masiyiwa, Zimbabwe would never be the same and for the better mind you. The corrupt practices of our leadership has thrown us into an abyss and I fear that it may take another decade and God’s grace for Zimbabweans to unlearn corruption. Nyika yawora!

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    henry chivhanga 7 years ago

    I am greatly inspired! Have you ever noticed that such great moral virtues are not recognised in the national political arena! Politicians do not want to see such people close to them. They are afraid of being exposed. What can stop Strive to say hatigovane mari yevanhu-ngaiende kwainofanira? You family is blessed indeed- imagine how they felt when their dad stood for what is right! They will also refuse to be corrupted! Strive,you strived and I say continue to strive for the return of morality. Continue to be the light! God Bless you. I join you in the fight against corruption. lets start a morality club.

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    Zvomukonde 7 years ago

    Imagine walking into an Econet shop and finding no sim cards for sale. Only to find one right outside the door at 30times the price.(2000-2009) I wonder how he dealt with that corruption. Even to this day(2012)I was better off buying a sim card outside the Econet shop than inside.

    Talk about Strive the shrewd business man.Starve network capacity ,Creating an artificial shortage of simcards and service. Making millions in the process.You would buy a sim card for the price equivalent of a cow. You may blame the dealers or the economic situation.All Strive did was to make the best out of the situation.(2000-2009)
    God bless Tsvangirayi (GNU),”Save” set us free.
    Strive is just another good business men.Good business man put the bible first (18th Century missionaries and to this day).Blind you fools and make money off you.

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    Prince Johns 7 years ago

    Baba ava vano NYEBA,,, ma bribe ndiwo avanoita plus kukara ndiko kunova netsa,, we all know how bribes have gotten him to were he is… kuto ita artificial shortage yema sim cards kuti company iite mari,,, ahhhhhhhhhh ngaati svodere.

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    The Future 2025 7 years ago

    Awesome Mr Masiyiwa

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    If only we could all follow his example Africa would be a better place. Corruption in the work place in Municipal and Government workplace is a real problem. Perhaps if government ministers from the President down to the toilet cleaner were given new condition of services

    a) Any body stealing or fraudently using their position for self gain will be suspended immediately

    b) Their case must be heard within 10 days to allow represtntation

    c) If found guilty of the offense they are summararily dismissed. However they may appeal within 7 days

    d) If the appeal is thrown out The dismissal will take effect IMMREDIATELy

    e) ALL Pension rights and money paid in will be lost

    F) FURTHER TO THE ABOVE….a criminal investigation will be opened and further sanctions under the law of this country will take effect.

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    jonathan 7 years ago

    I’m impressed, will definately learn from you Strive. God Bless You.

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    todii zvazvo 7 years ago

    Zvimwe ndezvimwe Strive ari kumhanya nebhora, taurai zvamunoda henyu, iam also a small scale and wil strive to achieve what Strive has achieved.

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    Tinei Manadava 7 years ago

    Strive you are an icon, a symbol of success and a veteran on advising others on how that success is achieved. I also hate corruption and people who always want kickbacks if ever someone deserve an opprtunity which they have to grant the other person in their capacities as politicians or leaders in some instutions. I confess I was told I had lost an election in some competition, but not because I lost that election but because corrupt officials played games to make me the loser. But however, I I’m much more determined to run for another election and I’m going to remain steadfast and avoid situations where I solicit for votes through corrupt means. I want to work for the people and help develop this country, I remain a patriotic Zimbabwean who wants to see a brighter future for his motherland.

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    Thank you Mr Strive Masiywa. Your story is an inspiration. And it solely because of Christ Jesus with in you. Have you thought about standing as president?

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      B.Mathe 7 years ago

      Great guy indeed. You deserve the best for what you have achieved and done for all of us. KEEP IT UP STRIVE.

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    travolta 7 years ago

    you are one in a million, corruption has take over our country mr masiwa

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    UTSAZ 7 years ago

    Strive keep it up. You are a creator of wealth. I always admire your moves. You are a motivator to many others.

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    gibson 7 years ago

    May the good Lord continue blessing you Strive. If all our leaders in church ,government, companies etc will learn from you, this country will walk on the heights.

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    Fallenz 7 years ago

    Excellent post. Honesty can win.

    Now for those who are determined to use this example and seek political office, I admire that and hope you win… it’s about the only hope left for Zim. However, any honest person who wins an election is a threat to those who are corrupt. The honest must be doubly cautious, and anticipate the dirty moves of the corrupt to disrupt and neutralize the honest. Remember that the corrupt work not only to protect themselves and their own corrupt activities, but also to protect their corrupt friends and partners-in-crime… so expect a team effort to discredit you. Be exceptionally careful… you see, even Strive has his detractors.

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    Mafuta 7 years ago

    Wonderful. Not all the laws or arrests possible can end corruption, so long as the gains of corruption is the greatest longing of the human heart. When the hearts of a critical mass of Africans hate the payout of corruption placed in their own hands, then Africa might be free.

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    Craig 7 years ago

    I Wish if you can become our president Mr Masiyiwa. Why cant you try that ?

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    Strive’s story, as a Zimbabwean businessman, is a glorious one. And that he was able to do so much without giving in to the pressures of corrupt politicians and leaders is just incredible! Way to go…!!!

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    Why would we buy something as simple as an econet sim card in south africa for 700 rands if Strive was not corrupt.

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    Farai 7 years ago

    Strive your article certainly makes you appear to be a very principled man, but I would suggest that you take a closer look at your own businesses as it is common practice to pay Econet employees in Harare a “cut” to secure any contract.

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    sirbells 4 years ago

    very inspiring and motivational Mr Masiiwa you make us proud. God bless you