Zimbabwe's economy has been on a free-fall and attempts to resuscitate the ailing economy have been futile. There is a universal consensus in the country that Zimbabwe may not be on the right path and the economy will continue to suffer. One man does not buy into this, as he believes President Mnangagwa knows what he is doing and believes that Zimbabwe is on the right path.
Econet founder and executive chairman Strive Masiyiwa has thrown his weight behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa and he strongly believes that Zimbabwe is on the right path and must be given a chance. Speaking to an interview by CNBC Africa in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, the billionaire was asked about Zimbabwe's economic prospects to which he responded with some optimism.
He said that he believes Mnangagwa is a "sincere" man and he spoke about his commitment to Zimbabwe as regards investment. He also called for the removal of sanctions and said that Zimbabwe must be given a chance.
"I have invested in Zimbabwe (in the last 10 years), $1.5 billion US dollars. I’m as commited to investing in Zimbabwe as I have always been come rain or shine. But concerning the change that has taken place; I believe it is real. I believe President Mnangagwa is sincere with the things he wants to do. It is going to be extremely challenging. Everyone knows that. Anyone who understands economics knows it’s going to be tough going but I think that Zimbabwe needs to be given a chance," Masiyiwa said.
He added,"We have to stop the politicking and focus on rebuilding this country… And I’m right up there. I think the sanctions, should be removed. There’s no justification for them anymore and I’ve always been on record to say the sanctions are not justified. Now we are almost 20 years into the sanctions. You can’t have one country operating with its hands tied behind its back."
Masiyiwa's company Econet is the largest telecoms firm in Zimbabwe and has a diversified portfolio that provides a plethora of services. Over all these years, Masiyiwa has maintained an indifferent stance towards politics, not commenting on political matters in the country.
These recent comments have made people to suggest that maybe the tycoon is preparing for his return to Zimbabwe where he will assist with improving the economy, probably on President Mnangagwa's call. Masiyiwa seems to have taken an inclination towards the Mnangagwa administration, considering how Mugabe had been spirited in attempts to block him from launching Econet.
Masiyiwa's wife, Tsitsi, wrote on Twitter, "I read about in Genesis the story of Joseph the young Israelite’s appointment as prime minister of Egypt by Pharaoh. Wow! Incredible. Found myself asking, 'Can you be called upon by your pharaoh to serve in your Egypt to prevent calamity?'"
When the cholera crisis was ravaging Zimbabwe in September, President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed that the Econet founder had phoned him from Ethiopia and donated US$10m to help address the epidemic which claimed more than 50 lives across the country.
Not everyone is pleased with all this, as some assert that this is just capitalist talk, where Masiyiwa will just stand to benefit more by endorsing Mnangagwa, without regard for issues like human rights and the betterment of the livelihoods of the ordinary people.
It's certainly bound to rouse some serious opinions and conversations!
Header Image Credit: Fortune.com
Credits: Newzwire Live