Chiyangwa Says Zanu PF Politicians Are ‘Fools’ And ‘Financially Illiterate’

Maverick businessman Phillip Chiyangwa yesterday branded Zanu PF politicians “fools”, bluntly decrying the former liberation party’s policies which he said have ruined business.

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The real estate tycoon said his colleagues in Zanu PF were financially illiterate, chasing away investors and eliminating indigenous business while some were being bought with bottles of whiskey while the economy implodes.

“Cash talk breaks no friendship,” Chiyangwa bellowed at the Affirmative Action Group’s empowerment conference held in Harare yesterday.

“We need a more proactive government, government official, ministers and people in Zanu PF where I am. The problem iripo havazive mari (they do not know money),” he said to uproarious laughter.

“This problem is very serious. Ukauya ukanzi nemunhu ‘bhodhoro rewhiskey, baba vangu, wakutoenda naye nyika ichiparara (Zanu PF politicians are being swayed by bottles of whiskey while the country burns). You cannot take me kupusa kwakaita sei kwekuti Marange igotorwa zvinhu zvigopera tozoziva zvapera. Kupusa kwakaita sei ikoko? (How foolish our politicians are that our diamonds are looted in Marange and we only find out when nothing is left, that is foolishness of the highest order).

“We operate in a blind way yet Zimbabwe has produced serious business people that ought to be with us but they are now cut outside the country because the country has no vision for satisfying business people who should be here.

“And sometimes we are even eliminated. I often say Strive Masiyiwa is one of those people and many others.”

Self-exiled Masiyiwa is the chairman and founder of Econet, a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific.

His business interests also straddle renewable energy, water treatment, Coca Cola bottling, financial services and hospitality; and also serves on a number of international boards.

Chiyangwa demanded that political leaders should not put barriers in front of those trying to get the economy running and make money.
“Right now, we have cash shortages, how do I feel that someone prints a paper, signs it and calls it money?” Chiyangwa said.

“How does that make me feel? For me, I want a situation where our economy is running well. Right now, I am coming from Cameroon (on football business). Each and every one in that country knows and appreciates the value of cash, yet Zimbabwe is much more illiterate. But kupusa (we are daft when it comes to) pacash big time. Big time!”

The businessman, never far from controversy, urged the government to put in place progressive policies that allow for development of the economy.
“A lot of my stands are sold at a deposit of $150 because I want everyone to have a roof over their heads. But you see politicians complaining how did Chiyangwa get all this, ndakaita buck wanga uripi? (when I was making money where were you?).

“I am young man who has made it on my own. I know the road I have walked. I was avoiding these politicians, then I joined them so that I criticise them while I am among them. Haikona kutiza chokwadi uri kundinzwa (don’t run away from the truth). Cash talk breaks no friendship. You (Zanu PF politicians) must address the issues that affect us.”

The Native Investments Africa Group founder said every businessman should speak against what they felt was an uneven playing field, saying no one will be arrested for speaking the truth.

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