Govt stripping assets: MPs

President Emerson Mnangagwa


LEGISLATORS have accused the Executive of systematically stripping the country of its valuable assets and selling them through opaque deals, which observers say smells of deep-rooted corruption and plunder.

In a heated question-and-answer-session in Parliament last Thursday, it emerged that government has been clandestinely disposing of strategic entities such as mines and petroleum outlets without seeking parliamentary approval, in flagrant breach of the country’s Constitution.

Early this month, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed the sale of government-owned petroleum firms PetroTrade and Genesis, saying: “The nation will recall that Cabinet in 2019 approved the merging of the State-owned petroleum companies, namely PetroTrade (Pvt) Ltd and Genesis Energy to form a single entity that would be partially privatised. Cabinet also approved Independent Petroleum Group as the prospective strategic partner to the merged petroleum company, subject to successful negotiations.”

In March this year, Energy minister Zhemu Soda suspended the PetroTrade board just months after its appointment allegedly for resisting the sale of the company. Back in 2021, government structured a deal that would see 10 companies take control of Zimbabwe’s gold refiner, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, for US$49 million.

However, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said government was no longer selling Fidelity Printers.

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