Exiled former Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere’s movement has announced its intention to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent decision to exempt over 20 state-owned companies from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act. This move, made on Friday, has raised concerns about transparency and accountability in Zimbabwe’s government entities.
The affected companies, including Zesa, TelOne, POSB, Zupco, NetOne, Powertel, Air Zimbabwe, Hwange Colliery Company, Cottco, and Air Zimbabwe, have been transferred under the newly named Mutapa Sovereign Wealth.
Kasukuwere, who was barred from participating in last month’s presidential elections due to his extended stay abroad, voiced his concerns about the implications of these regulatory changes. He argued that the exemption of state entities from the Act would make them susceptible to abuse and corruption.
The movement stated, “The negative implications of such a move are numerous and mean that those assets clandestinely transferred into the Mutapa Fund are now subject to gross abuse and looting without public disclosure.”
One of the main concerns raised is that this exemption allows the government to bypass due processes when procuring goods and services through the fund. This could potentially lead to assets being disposed of at values that don’t reflect their true worth, benefitting individuals with close ties to Mnangagwa’s administration.
Kasukuwere’s movement concluded, “In short, Zimbabweans have been disposed of effective and judicious control of assets, and Mnangagwa has, in effect, taken full control of them under the Mutapa Fund without being answerable to anyone on how these assets operate or are disposed of in the future.”
Former Finance minister Tendai Biti questioned the legality of Mnangagwa’s actions, arguing that he did not have the authority to change the name of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and transfer the shareholding of state enterprises without involving Parliament.
Veteran economist Tony Hawkins emphasized that Zimbabwe should look to countries like Norway, Botswana, and others in the Middle East that use sovereign wealth funds to diversify their economies and utilize domestic savings.
This controversy highlights a growing concern over Mnangagwa’s use of statutory instruments to enact significant measures without parliamentary oversight, raising questions about the rule of law and transparency in Zimbabwe’s government.- Agencies