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As US Sanctions Loomed, a Tycoon 'Mopped Up' Zimbabwe's Scarce Dollars, and Acquired a Lucrative Platinum Mine – OCCRP – OCCRP

As Zimbabweans faced the economic consequences of a crashing currency, well-connected businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei skirted the rules to convert government-backed securities into scarce U.S. dollars —which he used to acquire shares in a lucrative platinum mine.

Key Findings

  • Even after Zimbabwe cut off its citizens from accessing U.S. dollars in mid-2019, the central bank governor allowed Tagwirei’s company to cash out large portions of a treasury bill he held before it matured, and unlawfully convert them into tens of millions of U.S. dollars.
  • Documents indicate Tagwirei’s staff repeatedly used treasury bills as a source of U.S. dollars — which were extremely scarce in Zimbabwe — as and when they were needed.
  • Tagwirei’s company used these dollars to buy shares in a platinum mine from a company led by people linked to Zimbabwe’s military.

As allegations of economic crimes swirled around Zimbabwean tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei in early 2020, his business associates were worried that foreign authorities were planning to take action against him.

Christopher Fourie, a central figure in Tagwirei’s corporate network, sent a WhatsApp message in April 2020 to a colleague asking for details of a “contingency plan” in the event Tagwirei “gets sanctioned by [the] U.S.”

Just four months later, this possibility became a reality when the U.S. slapped sanctions on the fuel magnate for misusing huge amounts of public money intended to boost the country’s farming sector.

Specifically, the U.S. Treasury Department said Tagwirei had used his “relationship with President [Emmerson] Mnangagwa to grow his business empire dramatically and rake in millions of U.S. dollars.”

Access to U.S. dollars has long been important in Zimbabwe, where domestic currencies have suffered chronic hyperinflation. Matters took on added urgency in early 2019, when Mnangagwa introduced a new pseudo-currency, the Real Time Gross Settlement dollar, or RTGS. The decision cut off most access to U.S. dollars for Zimbabweans, apart from the government and central bank.

Yet evidence suggests that these restrictions did not extend to Tagwirei, who is known to be close to Mnangagwa and other key Zimbabwean officials, including the head of the central bank.

Documents obtained by OCCRP show that the same month the RTGS was made Zimbabwe’s official currency, Tagwirei acted swiftly to extract U.S. dollars from a government security his company had been awarded. These securities, known as treasury bills, should have only paid out upon maturity, but Tagwirei was permitted to cash them out ahead of time.

This preferential treatment let Tagwirei avoid the probability that his treasury bill would be worth only a fraction of its face value when it matured.

The impending collapse of RTGS was clear; even the Zimbabwean government admitted it. “Since its adoption, the RTGS Dollar has continuously lost value at … 1 percent per day,” the Minister of Finance and Economic Development said. “Devaluation has been accompanied by rampant inflation.”

As Zimbabwe’s new currency floundered, Tagwirei used the tens of millions of U.S. dollars he was grabbing to fund the acquisition of a key mining project by his company Landela Mining Ventures (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of his holding company Sotic International that was set up in Mauritius in February 2019, the same month the RTGS was launched.

“The whole point of Landela was to get the treasury bills money out of Zimbabwe and into Sotic, where it was used for the acquisition of Zimbabwe’s biggest mines and minerals,” Fourie, the insider who has since left Tagwirei’s team, told OCCRP.

By accumulating scarce U.S. dollars, Tagwirei’s companies exacerbated the country’s economic problems.

“There were only so many dollars in the country and they mopped it up by cheating,” Zimbabwe’s former Finance Minister Tendai Biti told OCCRP.

As the initially overvalued pseudo-currency began to lose value, Tagwirei’s team tried to extract more dollars, but as they did, experts said they undermined the RTGS and caused the currency to crash faster.

In a September 2019 statement, the International Monetary Fund suggested that giving certain people preferential access to U.S. dollars — which the Fund diplomatically referred to as a “continuation of [foreign exchange] market distortions” — had been a key pressure on the new RTGS currency.

Biti, who is now a member of Zimbabwe’s parliament, said the liquidation of treasury bills by Tagwirei had directly contributed to the crash of the new pseudo-currency.

The risk posed by allowing Tagwirei to cash in his treasury bills for U.S. dollars was evident long before 2019. In December 2017, Patrick Chinamasa, the acting Finance Minister at the time, told Zimbabwe’s parliament that inflation was being exacerbated by a shortage of U.S. dollars partly caused by issuing and paying out on treasury bills.

Tagwirei denied any wrongdoing, but did not respond to specific questions on the currency scheme sent by OCCRP.

Treasury Bills

In Zimbabwe, Tagwirei has such a strong influence on the country’s economy that he is known as Queen Bee. Before he was sanctioned, and as the prospect of a new currency drew nearer, he had overseen a years-long scheme to accumulate U.S. dollars.

High debt levels from 2012 to 2019 had caused the Zimbabwean government to stop issuing treasury bills to the public. Despite this, between 2016 and 2019 Tagwirei’s company Sakunda obtained billions of dollars in treasury bills through its role in a government agricultural project, which experts say has been a failure.

The treasury bills, handed to Sakunda for free and without proper government approval, were not meant to be cashed out but were instead ostensibly to function as insurance for the company’s spending on the agriculture project. Sakunda had been selected by the government as the only private sector partner for the project, following a secretive no-bid tender.

Until early 2019, treasury bills — including those granted to Tagwirei’s companies — were denominated in U.S. dollars. However, in February 2019 President Mnangagwa’s government introduced the RTGS currency. A controversial piece of legislation allowed the government to convert all debt and balances from U.S. dollars to RTGS at a 1:1 rate — even though the RTGS was far less stable than the dollar and its value was falling fast.

🔗Zimbabwe’s Pseudo “Electronic” Currency

The new currency, based on the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system, was rolled out by the government in February 2019 as an alternative pseudo-currency following the collapse of its predecessor, known locally as the “bollar.”

Though RTGS globally works as an electronic interbank exchange that requires actual currencies to transact, the Central Bank took the absurd decision to adopt the mechanism itself as a de facto currency.

When RTGS became Zimbabwe’s only legitimate currency in June 2019, the government imposed a nationwide freeze on all U.S. dollars, only allowing the central bank access to the reserves. The same year, inflation increased by over 250 percent compared to the year before.

Though the RTGS’s rate of exchange ostensibly began at parity with the U.S. dollar, the central bank had lowered the rate to 2.5 RTGS to the dollar by the end of June 2019, and it continued to fall from there. In just over half a year it had plummeted to 16 RTGS to the dollar.

As of August 2021, the official exchange rate for foreign transactions was $1 for 86 RTGS, while the street rate is now more than double that.

By converting its debts to RTGS, the central bank artificially reduced its domestic debt by evaluating its liabilities in RTGS at the interbank rate rather than the street value of RTGS, which was much higher and closer to its actual value. By November 2019, domestic debt had diminished by around $7 billion thanks to this policy. In the process, it also wiped out most of the value of all saved money in the country.

Converting foreign liabilities to RTGS at the rate set by the central bank also helped to cover up the extent of debts held abroad.

Though securities such as treasury bills were also supposed to be issued in or converted into RTGS, Tagwirei managed to skirt the new law.

“This law said one dollar for one RTGS,” Biti said. “If you bought a $100 million treasury bill, after February 2019 everyone other than Tagwirei would get 100 million RTGS only.”

Biti’s suggestion that Tagwirei received special treatment is backed up by internal correspondence obtained by OCCRP showing Tagwirei’s staff liquidating treasury bills early, and converting them to U.S. dollars rather than RTGS . They ultimately managed to extract $60 million U.S. dollars from a security that should have been worth just $15 million if it had been converted into RTGS on its maturity date.

In early June 2019, Fourie, who was then the director of Landala, wrote to John Mangudya, governor of Zimbabwe’s central bank, asking for the liquidation of more than 334 million RTGS from its $256 million treasury bill.

One of the letters from Fourie requested the liquidation of 115,783,500 RTGS, which, at the interbank exchange rate of the day (5.5135 RTGS to one U.S. dollar), translated to exactly $21 million. The letter’s justification for wanting access to this cash was vague, saying only that the funds would be used for buses, fertilizer and to make a payment to a mining company.

The request was sent alongside an almost identical letter asking for the liquidation of a further $39.7 million from the same treasury bill.

The premise for the request was that Landala supposedly needed to pay invoices. However, internal emails obtained by OCCRP show Tagwirei’s staff appear to have fabricated these invoices in order to access U.S. currency. The amount of RTGS invoiced appeared to be based on how many U.S. dollars the team wanted and what the exchange rate of the day was.

According to Zimbabwean law, Landela should not have been able to monetize any of its treasury bill before maturity. Even if this were permitted, the company received far more in U.S. dollars than the bill was worth. The bill should have been converted to RTGS by June 2019, and 256 million RTGS were worth no more than $46.5 million.


The exterior of Zimbabwe's Central Bank

Credit:
Majority World CIC / Alamy Stock Photo

Zimbabwe’s Central Bank, which approved the liquidation of Landela’s treasury bills, dominates the skyline in the country’s capital, Harare.

Nonetheless the request was approved by Zimbabwe’s central bank. Mangudya, the bank governor who had to sign off on the request, is listed in documents and emails as a key figure in the trusts behind Tagwirei’s offshore business empire, though he has denied being a part of the trust structures.

“If Tagwirei got U.S. dollars in June [2019] or got approval for it, it is fraud,” said Biti.

🔗No Preferential Treatment For Zimbabwean Miners

While Tagwirei was able to illegitimately access scarce U.S. dollars via his treasury bills, the real earners of foreign currency in Zimbabwe were being left shortchanged by the central bank.

Gold exports are one of Zimbabwe’s main sources of U.S. dollars. Under the terms of a policy known as the “foreign currency retention strategy,” small-scale miners in Zimbabwe were required to sell their mined gold to the central bank, which then sold it abroad to earn U.S. dollars. This generated upwards of $1 billion a year.

Yet the miners received just under half of their payment for the gold in local currency in 2019, which was the RTGS exchange rate after February. As the RTGS collapsed, so did the miners’ earnings: Inflation meant that the sums paid to them in RTGS would sometimes be worth half as much a month or two later.

Worse, there was a vast difference between the bank rate used to calculate how much the miners would receive in RTGS, and the much lower black-market rate. This meant that miners’ spending power took a dramatic hit when they were paid in RTGS.

Having obtained approval for the transaction from Zimbabwe’s central bank, Fourie then wrote to Landela’s bankers at Banc ABC, who in turn requested the transfer of the agreed U.S. dollar values from the central bank account.

However, Fourie’s letters to Banc ABC, obtained by reporters, feature two significant irregularities: Banc ABC stamped the documents on June 4, two days before the letters were dated, and the maturity date of the treasury bill had been backdated by a year, to January 2019 instead of the correct date in January 2020.

It is unclear when all of the U.S. dollars requested in these letters were finally disbursed to Landela, but an internal company document suggests it was done by January 9, 2020, the date of maturity of the treasury bills.

In September 2019, just a few months after the Landela letters, the Financial Times in the U.K. reported that the International Monetary Fund had privately warned Zimbabwe’s government about the economic impact of its dollar payments to Tagwirei.

Zimbabwe’s Central Bank governor Mangudya told OCCRP that questions about Tagwirei’s treasury bills should be sent to the government: “The treasury bills issued by the Government to Sakunda for the Command Agriculture [were for] a Government program and not a Central Bank program.”

Neither the Minister of Finance nor Banc ABC responded to requests for comment.

Going Platinum

Tagwirei’s companies had access to other treasury bills beyond the one referenced in the June 2019 letters, though it is unclear exactly how many. Internal emails obtained by OCCRP indicate treasury bills were used by Tagwirei’s staff often, whenever they needed money.

The correspondence suggests Tagwirei used the Landela account specifically to manage treasury bills. The U.S. dollars would then be moved from Landela to Sotic International, Fourie told reporters. To help make the flow of dollars appear legitimate, loan agreements between the companies were set up.

On at least one occasion, Tagwirei also appeared to personally profit from Landela. The company transferred $1.5 million to Tagwirei in May 2020, according to a bank withdrawal request obtained by OCCRP.

In addition, correspondence suggests that Tagwirei used his influx of U.S. dollars to buy into the natural resources sector. The sale of treasury bills was discussed internally around the middle of 2019, just as Landela was taking steps to acquire a major platinum mining asset in Zimbabwe.

In May 2019 Landela struck a deal with state-owned Pen East Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd, which was led by former Zimbabwean military figures, to buy out its shares in a promising platinum project. Pen East owned half of Great Dyke Investments (GDI), a joint venture with Afromet, a subsidiary of Russian billionaire Vitaly Machitski’s VI Holding. GDI owned rights to Darwendale, one of the world’s largest platinum reserves.

🔗Platinum-Plated Opportunity

Analysis of geological assessments, financial reports, and feasibility studies shows that the Russian investors acquired the platinum field for well below market value.

It also illustrates why Tagwirei and the Russians were eager to own it: Darwendale features a shallow and flat-dipping ore body that is relatively cheap and easy to exploit.

The mine contains platinum reserves with 20 or more years of mine life and up to 44 million ounces of platinum group metals, valued at around $800 US per ounce when Landela purchased the Pen East shares — a total of around $35.2 billion in minerals. Their value has since increased, surpassing $55 billion in 2021.

Best of all, Tawgirei’s newly appointed CEO for Sotic was David Brown, the former CEO of Impala, a mineral processing company based in neighboring South Africa, which was presented with the offer to process the platinum. This ensured a local and controlled supply chain.

Landela purchased Pen East’s shares for $220 million, according to July 2019 letters of comfort written by Tagwirei’s lawyer on behalf of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Finance. Under the terms of the deal, Landela was also asked by Pen East to pay 46 million RTGS — equivalent to $11 million, according to the letter — in taxes on behalf of the company, according to emails. This sum was to be paid by Tagwirei, in addition to the $220 million, according to Fourie, in an agreement the former employee described as “off the books.”

One of the June 2019 Landela letters to the central bank requesting liquidation of part of the $256 million treasury bill said the company needed some of the money for a payment to Pen East for its GDI shares. Landela said it needed 46 million RTGS — the same amount it was supposed to pay to Pen East one month later.


Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Credit:
ASSOCIATED PRESS (Sergei Chirikov)

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, poses with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2019 Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia.

Landela’s participation in the joint venture with VI Holding was contingent upon Landela providing GDI with a $21.5 million loan, but by late November 2019 the company had not yet done so, according to an email from Afromet representative Igor Higer to Landela’s Fourie. This suggests that the U.S. dollars had not yet been disbursed to the company. By the end of January 2020 — after the maturity of the treasury bill — Landela had made the payment and the company entered the joint venture.

Even as Pen East legally disposed of its shares in Darwendale, the military figures behind the company remained active in discussions about the mine. In an email to Tagwirei and his team, Colonel Siwinile Tauya, a former army officer, requested a briefing ahead of a 2019 meeting with GDI in Moscow and cited the need to “push for the interests of the Zimbabwean shareholder in the form of Landela.”

In July 2021, the U.K. followed Washington’s lead and sanctioned Tagwirei for corruption. Its official communication specifically noted Tagwirei’s use of treasury bills and “misappropriation of property.” By then, though, Tagwirei’s team had already begun to restructure his empire, moving Sotic-held mining assets including GDI into a new Zimbabwean entity called Kuvimba.

Platinum Shuffle

After Tagwirei was placed under U.S. sanctions, his team set about reorganizing the tycoon’s business empire, which by then included a stake in the country’s biggest platinum reserve.


investigations/Landela-Afromet-Addendum-Signed.jpg


An agreement between Landela and Great Dyke Investments for the provision of a $21.5 million loan.


investigations/Pen-East-Landela-Signed-Transfer.jpg


Pen East Mining share purchase agreement with Landela.


investigations/SOTIC-Restructure.jpg


The CEO of Sotic, a Tagwirei company, lays out his vision to restructure the company and create a “Zimbabwean diversified mining champion” in a letter to shareholders.


investigations/Kuvimba-Mining-Assets.jpg


Letter published by the board of Kuvimba Mining House confirming that ZIWA became a shareholder in their company.

slick.woff
slick.ttf

Despite claims by Kuvimba and Tagwirei to have nothing to do with each other, reports by Bloomberg, the Financial Times and U.S.-based advocacy group The Sentry last year highlighted their extensive connections.

Confidential internal communications obtained by OCCRP support these reports, showing how David Brown — at the time Sotic’s CEO — moved Sotic’s mining assets to a new Zimbabwean holding company, ZIWA, which became a shareholder in Kuvimba.

“To the extent that Kuvimba owns any of the entities through Sotic-created holding companies like ZIWA, it obtained them fraudulently and corruptly,” said Fourie.

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money markets

Retail participation on ZSE rising – The Zimbabwe Mail




Experts in the capital markets are projecting further growth in retail investor participation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in 2022 on enhanced access to trading at a time foreign participation has been on a decline.

While foreign participation slowed in the past year, the introduction of easy-to-access platforms for trading has increased participation by retail investors, a trend that stockbrokers EFE Securities see continuing.

In 2021, foreign participation remained sluggish with disposals accounting for 19 percent of the total turnover while purchases claimed a mere 4 percent of the same as foreigners continued to shy away from the Zimbabwean stock market due to delays in movement of international payments.

However, local investors spurred activity both on the buy and sell-side as they piled stocks to hedge against economic volatility, subsequently accounting for 81 percent and 96 percent of the sell and buy-side respectively.

Platforms such as ZSE Direct and C-Trade, have allowed ease of buying and selling of shares by retail investors.

During the first half of the year 2021, the C-Trade platform also spurred trades by retail investors although the values still remained low. With more liquidity coming from the anticipated economic growth spurred by agriculture and mining, more retail investors are expected to turn to stocks as a viable investment option.

On ZSE Direct (an online trading platform run by the ZSE) the growth in retail investor participation on the stock market has been phenomenal. The platform, which was launched in September 2021 and closed the same year with 3 149 total users, has since grown to 9 121 total users.

Active users at 939 for the four months to December 2020, closed 2021 much higher at 4 737 reflecting the growing interest from retail investors. The growth in active users was also reflected in the growth in the number of trades from 1 766 for the four months to December 2020 to 31,142 for the year to December 2021.

The total value of trades, which was at $14,3 million in the four months to December 2020, ballooned to $248,4 million in the 12 months to December 2021. The introduction of easy-to-use trading tech platforms such as ZSE Direct and C-Trade has also added to the attractiveness of equities as an asset class.

On C-Trade the total number of registrants or first-time investors shows a significant uptake comparable to the approximately 7 500 active investors accrued since dollarisation.

Such an exponential increase signals a market poised for growth as happened last year when the number of participants on C-Trade grew by 60 percent from the previous year. C-Trade has approximately 26 000 users currently.


“In the ensuing year we expect more activity in the market mainly coming from retail investors, due to availability and accessibility of trading platforms and new listings,” said EFE Securities in their FY2021 Review and 2022 Outlook. In the prior year, retail investor activity improved, therefore, bringing more liquidity in the market. Foreign outflows continued to outstrip inflows on the market, therefore depressing prices as locals failed to cope with the supply. However, with a better foreign currency allocation system we expect a turnaround in this space with more foreigners gaining confidence to buy in the local market,” said the stockbrokers.

While most counters were affected by Covid-19 due to lockdowns, it is the hospitality industry that suffered the most as travel restrictions were imposed, while clothing retailers also lost weeks of trading during the first quarter of the year. However, the blue-chip counters have continued to be the markets’ favourites as they provide a good hedge against currency depreciation.

“The heavy cap counters that offer diversified goods like consumer staples are well-positioned for growth in the Covid-19 era, for example, National Foods is poised for growth as it offers commodities with inelastic demand.

“Econet continues to grow as most personnel have adapted to work from their home and schools also now offer lessons online,” said EFE Securities.

According to the stockbrokers, the market’s momentum stocks Meikles, Delta, Econet, CBZ and Innscor proved their mettle as they emerged the most liquid stocks on the bourse accounting for a combined 55 percent of the annual market spend.

Meikles, Delta, and Econet were the standout performers for the year with respective contributions of 20 percent, 12 percent and 9 percent as investors continued to cherry-pick in the heavies. starafrica, Dawn, and RTG drove the market’s volumes performance with a contribution to total volumes of 37 percent, 29 percent, and 8 percent in that order on the back of corporate transactions that saw major shareholding structural changes in the three companies. Overall, market cap closed the year at $1,32 trillion with telecoms giant Econet being the biggest counter by total value accounting for 17 percent of total market value by the close of 2021.

Fifty-one counters closed the year in the positive, led by logistics group Unifreight which surged 16 011 percent to close at $29,96. CBZ was the only counter to close the year in the negative with an 11 percent decline to $75,16. The banking group once reached a high of $123,61 during the year. – Sunday Mail


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money markets

Presidential garden flourishes in Mat South village – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
FOR the first time in their lives, villagers in Jinjika village in Mangwe District, Matabeleland South, have opened bank accounts to receive payments for their efforts at Sekusile-Makorokoro Nutrition Garden, a project falling under the Presidential Rural Development Scheme.

Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Masuka stresses a point during the tour of Presidential Rural Horticulture Scheme in Jinjika village in Mangwe district yesterday.

On December 15 last year, President Mnangagwa launched the Presidential Rural Development Scheme in the remote Jinjika village which is tucked deep in semi-arid Matabeleland South.

Government intends to replicate the same programme across 35 000 villages countrywide.

The programme entails communities using resources within their villages to uplift themselves and Arda and Agritex are the agronomists for the projects.

The programme is part of Government’s efforts to improve rural economies and end poverty among the rural folk in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

During the launch the President sold the first bundle of spinach produced at the Sekusile-Makorokoro Nutrition Garden to off-takers for US$1.

The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has already started establishing offtake agreements with buyers of fresh produce from the garden, which was established two months ago.

With 163 beneficiaries, Sekusile-Makorokoro Nutrition Garden has already started generating money in its first eight weeks of establishment.

Arda said the scheme will generate at least US$163 000 every year.

In interviews with Chronicle yesterday, villagers said the horticulture project has become transformational to their lives.

The villagers in Jinjika said they have opened bank accounts to get paid for the work they do at the Presidential Horticulture Scheme garden in the Makorokoro area.

So far, they received payments for rape and spinach they planted in December and have started harvesting tomatoes and about 4 000 cabbages will be ready in mid-February.

The garden is being managed by Mr Mlungisi Ncube with Agriculture extension officers providing consultancy work so that crops do not fail.

Mr Ncube yesterday took Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka through a tour of the garden narrating their successes as well as challenges.

A villager engaged in the scheme, Ms Linda Moyo said after receiving her payment last month, she was able to buy groceries for her family.

“I managed to buy items including rice, sugar, soap among other things.

We have been able to relieve pressure from our husbands who are working outside the country.

As a woman, I’m now able to enter a bank and make a withdrawal and this is through the payments I get from working here.

We are looking forward to improved profits when we scale up productivity,” said Ms Moyo.

A local village head Mr Morgen Ndebele expressed gratitude to Government for extending the project to their community.

He said the project will help in ensuring that locals don’t skip the country’s borders as payments that villagers are receiving are transforming lives.

“We believe this will contribute to more of our children not leaving the country to seek greener pastures in other countries.

Villagers now balance between working in their fields and also working here where they get paid. We believe this project will uplift our community,” said Mr Ndebele.

In his speech, Dr Masuka, said it was important that he follows up on the programme that President Mnangagwa launched in December so that glitches are reduced in spreading the programme countrywide.

“We visited here to see progress with the project. I’m extremely pleased with what we have seen so far.

All the 163 villagers are working here and have been paid and they have started generated more than $100 000 in their first month.

Certainly, this project is on course to achieving targets and they have even started selling the cabbages, they have an incredible crop of tomatoes, rape and spinach.

They are now going into the second rotation and we can only expect that production will get better,” said Dr Masuka.

He said the project has great potential and Government will chip in to ensure communities access viable markets.

“We still have to finetune the marketing side because the markets are far. And with the increase in product from other villages that are going to be starting this project, I think we have started on the right path,” he said.

He said institutions such as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zimtrade, Agriculture Marketing Association and Agriculture and Rural Development Authority are expected to work closely with rural communities in amplifying the transformation agenda.

Dr Masuka said rural industrialisation is the best foot forward if the country is to achieve an upper middle-income status by 2030.

He said the Presidential Horticulture Scheme will create employment for communities.

“Opportunities lie where we are; beneath our feet and here in Jinjika Village we have demonstrated that it is indeed possible for villagers not to go anywhere else to be employed.

They get money every month as employees and at the end of the selling season they become shareholders in the shares.

So, this is an incredible developmental pathway for the attainment of Vision 2030,” he said.

“For these projects to succeed, it is agricultural development that will power rural industrialisation.

And that rural industrialisation will cause rural development and facilitate for the attainment of Vision 2030.

That’s the continuum that we must appreciate, but where it is theoretical a lot of people get lost.

But when the perspective is grounded like this, everyone can see that this is the evidence that we have been building all along.

That it is possible for Zimbabweans to develop where they are because the enabler for development is the land.”

Dr Masuka said the project being implemented at Jinjika will be replicated across the country making Zimbabwe a stronghold in horticulture exports in Africa.

“The President’s vision is that there be 35 000 village models like this so we have the incredible opportunity to become one of the biggest horticulture exporting nations in Africa.

So, this provides diets and nutrition and this is where we are going.

If you complement this with Pfumvudza/Intwasa that provides the cereals, and this provides the relish then this is the greatest combination for rural development and food and nutrition security,” said Dr Masuka.

Mangwe district development coordinator Ms Rorisang Makhurane said chiefs in the district have endorsed the programme and are in the process of identifying land in other villages where the same programme can be implemented.

“You know this part of the country has almost been forgotten, even the network is very poor.

Somehow, they did not have a lot of participation in national programmes, but this project I see it coming up very positively and everyone is now understanding where Zimbabwe is going.

This is the way to go; the villagers are being paid for the work they are doing and they now realise what business is.

What we have even heard from the grapevine is that the traditional leadership in this area want this expanded.

I even had consultations from chiefs who want this model to be spread across the district.

“As you are aware the President has said this should be replicated in the 35 000 villages in the country, chiefs are busy trying to identify land to expand this programme,” she said. — @nqotshili

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money markets

African stock outlook for 2022 – a trader's opinion – The Zimbabwe Mail




Investing in Africa differs significantly depending on the region. In terms of oil assets and key industries, Northern Africa is very similar to much of the Middle East in terms of size and scope.

The country of South Africa is considered to be a more developed market because of its robust mining industry.

Sub-Saharan Africa is still considered to be a closed market by foreign financiers. It comprises countries with less developed economies.

However, according to AskTraders.com, as markets in other parts of the world begin to mature, Africa as a region is viewed by many investors as an excellent frontier upon which to discover lucrative growth stocks.

In 2022, as global economies still stutter out of the effects of the global pandemic, there are some compelling prospects for African stocks going forward.

Commodities investments continue to be a strong prospect for traders

These countries are endowed with an abundance of natural resources, which range from oil and diamonds to gold and uranium. Many of them remain unexplored as a result of a low human population density, as well as a lack of infrastructure and financial resources.

This creates a strong environment for growth stocks to become more prominent in 2022, as international mining companies begin to prospect throughout the African continent.

Africa is experiencing a bevy of new stock exchanges

Many African countries are enacting legislation that will make their stock exchanges more transparent and more diverse in terms of the securities that are traded on the exchange.

Added to this, many emerging stock exchanges in Africa are embracing financial technology businesses and collaborating with start-ups in order to automate their trading platforms and reduce the regulatory burden placed on publicly traded corporations, among other things.


New stock exchanges are also being established, with Lesotho set to become the first African country to list on a stock exchange.

Ethiopia’s parliament has also given its approval to a proclamation that will pave the way for the establishment of a stock market.

Many African countries are enjoying a growing consumer sector

As of 2021, the population of Africa will account for around 17 percent of the world’s total, with roughly 1.4 billion people residing in more than 60 countries.

As a result, consumer services such as telecommunications and banking gain a significant amount of market share.

The rising consumer economies of Africa provide intriguing potential for global enterprises looking to expand their operations in retail and distribution.

Changing demographics and better business environments across the continent are only two of the causes that will contribute to increased household consumption, which is expected to reach $2.5 trillion by 2030, according to projections.

Seven countries—Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa—will soon account for half of the continent’s population, and 43 percent of Africans across the continent will belong to the middle or upper classes, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

The rising income levels across all socioeconomic classes, as well as the growing demand for goods and services, should inspire firms to consider expanding their operations to the continent.

Investment, production, and distribution options abound throughout Africa, making it a lucrative place to do business and to invest.


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