Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

South African tycoon's invasion of Zimbabwe analysed

24 Jul 2019 at 12:06hrs | Views
Matshela Koko served as acting CEO of South African power utility ESKOM, he has been awarded a contract to produce 100MW of solar-generated power in Gwanda. This comes on the back of a project that was awarded to Wicknell Chivhayo and nothing materialised from it.

Wicknell Chivhayo is a convicted felon who did time in Chikurubi, the man had paid for his sons and has done well for himself as a businessman and a socialite in Zimbabwe.

Matshela Koko was accused of several wrongdoings and Koko was cleared on six charges related to the awarding of a tender, by a division he headed, to a business in which his step-daughter owned shares. Allegations that Koko had played a pivotal role in awarding an R1.6 billion contract to McKinsey and the Gupta-linked Trillian were not part of this specific disciplinary. These are issues being probed in a separate investigation.

I raise these issues because historically it is important to do a bit of a background check on those you are doing business with. Zimbabweans on social media have made a lot of noise against Matshela Koko and the 100MW deal. It is absolutely foolish to deny a skilled man an opportunity to showcase his skills and help a nation like Zimbabwe come out of the dark ages we are in as we face a hard-hitting load shedding schedule.

Zimbabweans blacklisted Koko on the basis of an anti-KOKO media campaign that was established to suit an anti-Lyn Browne- Ben Ngubani and Jacob Zuma narrative. Matshela Koko is a competent engineer and it makes perfect business sense to award a man of his calibre with a licence to produce 100MW if not more.

Who is Matshela Moses Koko?

The man has a 20plus years experience at a large power company like ESKOM and that alone is enough of a CV for a man operating a mere 100MW power generation plant.

Mr Koko was the  Group Chief Executive Officer at ESKOM. He joined Eskom in September 1996 as an Engineer-in-Training and moved steadily up the ranks. Other positions he occupied included Boiler Plant Engineer Manager and Pressure Parts Engineer (2000), Senior Manager: Power Plant Engineering, Enterprises Division (2004); Senior Manager: Engineering, Generation Division (2009). He became a Divisional Executive responsible for Group Technology (2010); and Group Executive Technology and Commercial (2014).

The man has a highly decorated CV and Zimbabweans refuse to recognise the merit behind giving him the licence.

Compared to Wicknell Chivhayo who has no electrical engineering experience I would put it across that Matshela Koko is a practical and wise choice by ZERA.

Gwanda should rejoice and be glad that a man of such experience is coming to help solve the electricity challenge. Better still they can play the tribal card if they want. Matshela Koko would be more suitable to the mostly Ndebele and Suthu people of the Gwanda region and he would blend in perfectly well.

Results are key

This opinion is not an endorsement for Koko, his results will speak for him. He needs to come to Zimbabwe knowing fully well that we are hungry for electricity, we are in dire need and we need results, not excuses. Wicknell Chivhayo has given us enough excuses and maybe an apology, and we now need results. What I have faith in is Matshela Koko's CV and I believe he is sober and knows exactly what is needed to deliver solar-generated power to Gwanda and Zimbabwe.

Politics aside and propaganda aside Matshela Moses Koko is a man that the people of Gwanda and Zimbabwe can look to for practical solutions to the energy crisis. Who knows maybe we could import Brian Molefe and have him as ZESA CEO and Ben Ngubane as ZESA board chair and maybe the Gupta's could also bring their wealth and help us pay 80millon for electricity. Zimbabweans are tired of being in the dark and any solution with tangible positive results that can keep the lights on is a much-needed development.

Allow me to digress a bit

We paid 10 million to ESKOM, there was noise and tweets about the payment and a month down the line we are still in the dark. Could this mean that the new dispensation has failed to find favour and goodwill from ESKOM? How long are we going to remain in the dark? Do we need to change ministers again? Load shedding is hurting the people of Zimbabwe and adding insult to an already injured economy. Minister Fortune Chasi if you happen to read this please address the nation on load shedding, what's your plan, how long do we have to endure as a nation, do we need 3 years? Yours truly

Nicholas Ncube is a researcher and blogger based in Ontario Canada and is originally from Tsholotsho

Source - Nicholas Ncube
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.