The ENG issue can not and should not be viewed in isolation but rather in context of the general occurrences in Zimbabwe during that period up to present day. Respectable business people were labeled all sorts of names.
Many have kept silent not because they are guilty but they chose privacy. If Zimbabwe is trying to build a better and progressive nation these business people should be encouraged to share their stories and experiences. It is only after we hear their version of events can we create a credible value system .I am encouraged by the emails sent to me, especially the hate mail which I find particularly motivating as I believe it allows further exchange of divergent views which hopefully will allow us develop a more vibrant and progressive nation.
I personally have nothing against Dr Gono; my assumption is that he is just doing his job. And as such what needs to be challenged are the man?s policies not his person. Dr Gono has presided over the massive brain drain in the financial sector particularly. During that period he has succeeded in transforming the RBZ into the Reserve Bank of ZANU (PF). In short he has turned the central Bank into the party?s finance department. The effect of this is that now Zimbabwe does not have a
central Bank. It is important that this be scrutinized and exposed because Zimbabwe is undergoing a transformation and the new order needs to avoid this.
Is it going to be acceptable for MDC or Mavambo/Kusile transform the country?s central bank to a tool to effect the party?s agenda without parliamentary oversight and approval? The concept here is to look at the principle and not the person.
Zimbabwe?s national institutions are being corrupted to such an extent that unbelievable activities are now
just being viewed as normal or acceptable. Why would the Central Bank directly buy plasma TVs and cars for the judiciary officers? What does the Central Bank or its officers/Governor expect in return for the favor? Is this not supposed to be done thorough normal parliamentary budget allocation to various ministries? It is this trend of rule bending and goal post shifting that results in the economy mal-functioning because everything is just unpredictable.
The country can only attract investment and investors if there is rule of law, not rule by law. The idea of changing rules just to suit an individual or isolated incident is disastrous. Zimbabwe had a fairly well developed legal system; the companies Act, Banking Act and Collective Investments Act were well thought regulations governing Banks, Companies and other financial institutions. But during the so-called anti-graft campaign these rule and regulations were over-ridden in dramatic fashion. This brings instability and increases capital flight and brain drain.
This is beyond personalities. It?s beyond ENG. This is about confidence building and stable institutional frame work that assists Zimbabwe to regain former glory. Even though land reform was necessary, during the fast track land reform it became normal for individuals to take the law into their own hands. This set a bad precedence .Once it becomes clear that there is selective application of the rule of law then there is no incentive to uphold rules and
As part of the stage managed anti-graft campaign of 2003-4 I was arrested after a team, masquerading as RBZ Inspectors led by a soldier-(Major Santu) ransacked ENG Capital. I later learnt Major Santu was in fact a soldier ?seconded? by the Joint Operations Command (J.O.C) to ?assist?Dr Gono run the RBZ. Now if you have soldiers running the Central Bank what does that tell you about all other departments of Governments? It is clear the soldiers and security services are now running the country, ignoring the normal rules and regulations that would make Zimbabwe an attractive investment
destination. Now why would any normal country have soldiers manning the Central Bank?
It?s just unfortunate that a majority of Zimbabweans are now starting to know what J.O.C is. This is so because when events are happening to someone people chose to ignore and not pay attention as to what exactly is the allegation and who is doing what to whom. The point is Zimbabweans need collective national value system and when ever that value system is violated people must speak out and take action to defend that value system. That is how strong societies are built. Since time immemorial a successful lawless society is unheard.
Zimbabwe?s current problems may pass but they will return as long as there is no cultural shift amongst Zimbabweans themselves. The notion that it only happened to Muponda or Mawere there fore it?s not my problem is disturbing. When the anti-graft operation was implemented it was welcomed as a messianic mission ridding the nation of all ills.
Zimbabweans only started to be concerned when it got closer to them personally when Operation Murambatsvina, Operation
Sunrise Operation Mavhotera papi were being implemented. The fact is as a nation we must confront situations with facts and voice concern where ever the rule of law is being ignored.
There is need to look at the full picture and assess the implication of whole sale arrest of business people for the purpose of investigating them. The norm else where is to investigate then arrest if there is a case. The simple failure to apply the laws uniformly has accelerated the economic decline.
Businesses destroyed or taken over Royal Bank, Intermarket, Barbican, Intermarket, Rapid, Sagit, Africa Resources, Century Bank. And this all happened within a space of less than 6 months. Jobs were lost.
Business people were scandalized, arrested or haunted out of the country. The list is rather long but it includes such luminaries as Dr Makoni. Mawere, Mushore, Makoni, Chekeche, Jowa, Sachikonye, Chando, Durajadi, Simba, Muzwimbi, Nyemba, Vingirai, Zimuto, Makamba.
Is this normal to see a whole generation of entrepreneurs scandalized and lose all creditability and all at the same time? What are the implications on foreign investor sentiment when they see such hostility to local investors? These are respectable and pioneer first generation entrepreneurs who find them selves scandalized and some how classified criminal even though there is no clear evidence against them.
It is clear there is need to look beyond individuals and start reviewing wider concepts that are at play. Individuals come and pass, therefore its not worth the effort or attention to just focus on the individual whilst ignoring the irreparable damage being done to national institutions and their credibility.
Gilbert Muponda is a Zimbabwe-born entrepreneur. He can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.