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Zimbabwe state capture fears escalate

by Staff reporter
01 Nov 2018 at 06:26hrs | Views
The nasty brawl over the control of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government- driven by narrow economic interests- is threatening to paralyse both the State and the ruling Zanu-PF.

For the past two weeks, some businesspeople with strong links to the Presidium, among them Sakunda Holdings boss Kudakwashe Tagwirei, have been at the centre of controversy following revelations that they were firmly controlling levers of power through capturing the country's leadership.

The matter has dangerously divided the ruling party, and leaders were seemingly edging towards acrimony, which has created fierce factional wars in Zanu-PF.

Tagwirei, has triggered off fresh fissures within Zanu-PF and government, with the Sakunda Holdings founder wittingly or unwittingly driving a wedge between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and some of his allies over the tycoon's unsettling influence.

Barely a year after a soft coup that ousted Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa's administration is facing a huge crisis caused by an imploding economy.

The meltdown has led to finger-pointing, with Tagwirei coming under scrutiny for his octopus-like grip on the fuel industry, hit by serious shortages of petrol and diesel.

One of Zimbabwe's richest men, Tagwirei is accused of monopolising fuel infrastructure, and flaunting his wealth to influence government to make decisions in his favour.

He is reported to have amassed excessive influence over the three arms of the State, with critics claiming his actions — real or perceived — amounted to State capture.

Tagwirei has openly financed Command Agriculture ahead of the July 30 elections, a programme the opposition alleges was designed to pursue a narrow electoral agenda, specifically securing a Zanu-PF victory in the harmonised elections.

Despite his fabulous wealth and power, he now seems to have fallen afoul with Mnangagwa, and is facing unrelenting persecution, with his business being hammered endlessly.

A Communications Taskforce appointed by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and headed by Acie Lumumba made shocking allegations last week, claiming "Queen Bee" — widely viewed as Tagwirei — was part of a syndicate fuelling the foreign currency black market by supplying street dealers with bond notes and corrupt allocations of foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

Grey-haired and tall, with piercing eyes and a quiet, hushed voice, the Sakunda boss was then lynched by Mnangagwa's special advisor Christopher Mutsvangwa, who brazenly accused him of "dividing the presidium".

Mutsvangwa alleged there was a powerful political hand helping Tagwirei to jump the foreign currency allocation queue at the RBZ and called for his monopoly in the fuel industry to be crushed.

The former War Veterans minister seemed to suggest that Mnangagwa and his powerful deputy, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga were not seeing eye-to-eye on the Tagwirei issue.

Source - Daily News