ORIGINAL ARTICLE REPUBLISHED BELOW –
Paul Nyathi|Zimbabwean businessman Justice Maphosa, who helped stranded veteran politician Emmerson Mnangagwa in November 2917 when he fled the country and sought refuge in neighboring Mozambique after he was sacked by then president Robert Mugabe for allegedly undermining him, will not step his foot in the country claiming that Mugabe wants to eliminate him for rescuing Mnangagwa.
Maphosa runs Big Time Strategic Company which bank rolls the Gwanda Gospel Music Show which kicks off in Gwanda on Friday and ends on Sunday.
The South Africa-based businessman was hardly known until he emerged with his annual concert in Gwanda five years ago.
He built his name further with his act of brotherhood to ‘rescue’ Mnangagwa when death was knocking on his doors from Mugabe.
Mnangagwa illegally crossed the border at night and landed in Mozambique with a few bodyguards, who are said to have blocked attempts by Zimbabwean state security agents from arresting the fleeing vice president and his entourage.
The multi-millionaire, who describes himself as a non-corruptible God-fearing businessman, says when he sent his private jet to pick up Mnangagwa, it was an act of kindness.
Maphosa claims that Mnangagwa phoned him seeking help while he was still in Zimbabwe.
“Come that day I get a call from him … ‘Maphosa I am in a situation. I have been fired. My life is in danger. I need to get out of the country. My first call was, where are you? Where are you going? Where will you be in 2 hours, in 4 hours in 6 hours?’ … Which he told me and we went to pick him up and we brought him into the country.”
However, he said now there are people who want to eliminate him due to his close links to the president and his act of kindness and will this year like he did last year miss his high cost gospel music concert.
Maphosa, 44, was born in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, where he did part of his education before proceeding to South Africa. He did computer studies with a bias on Information Communication Technology.
In 1998, together with a friend, he launched his first company the Computer Inc. and Media Solutions, whose core business was to recycle computer ink cartridges. Today he is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Big Time Strategic Group, with 17 subsidiaries across Southern Africa.
Despite the threats on his life and his business, Maphosa says he is in the process of launching nine companies in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Organisers of the annual Gwanda International Gospel Festival have unveiled a star-studded line-up for the event.
Swaziland’s Ncwandeni Christ Ambassadors and Shongwe with his Khuphuka Saved group will headline the fest alongside Sipho Makhabene, Takesure Zamar, Vocal Ex, Mathias Mhere and Indosakusa: The Morning Star.
The festival, now in its fifth edition, will be held at its usual venue, Phelandaba Stadium from tomorrow until Sunday.
Denzel the Pianist from Cape Town, Mkhululi Bhebhe, Joyful Praise from Gweru, Hybrid Sounds from Gwanda and Harvest Music Super Choir from Bulawayo will make up the rest of entertainers.