Ms. Miriam Mutizwa’s Open Letter to Ms. Tsitsi Masiyiwa – Part 2

This is part 2 of Ms. Miriam Mutizwa’s open letter to Ms. Tsitsi Masiyiwa following her tweet that has generated a storm on the true meaning of what justice is and is not against a backdrop of accusations as to the bona fides of outcries and actions of persons she has not identified so far who she believes to be the driving minds behind what she considers to be questionable and suspect causes.

The letter reads as follows:

“I am grateful that your tweet that may have been targeted at persons you believe are abusing the quest for justice has generated conversations that are necessary and essential to a healthy democracy in Zimbabwe.

I consider myself to be an engaged citizen who is concerned about what does it mean to a good citizen and how ordinary folk like me can learn to use our power to make change.

Your tweet invites all to reflect on what justice is and ought to be. It also ignites and provokes all active citizenship to cultivate the values, knowledge and skills of effective citizenship in order to avoid the danger of being used by a few in the name of justice and equity.

I am sure that you will agree that literacy in justice and the rule of law is essential to making democracy work.

You are not alone in making the allegation that:“Some outcries and actions in pursuit of justice seem and look so right,” implying that you have undertaken a critical examination of some of the outcries and actions in the public domain that are presented as if they are in pursuit of justice.

However, my sister, I would have expected you to name and shame the impugned actions and outcries and the persons driving such actions and outcries.

Regrettably, I was left in a dangerously speculative mode with no answers from you as the author is this important departure in my well-established concern that after 38 years of Zimbabwe’s independence, there is a real and not imagined absence of outcries and actions in pursuit of justice.

A few weeks ago, I made my position clear that the Attorney General of Zimbabwe is not fit for purpose following his oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development on 19 November 2018 wherein he boldly stated that a law that applies retrospectively is a just and constitutional piece of legislation.

The law in question also allows shareholders like you my sister to be divested and deprived of the control and management of a company without following the due process of the law.

I have noted with concern that the people I would generally associate with business leadership have been silent on the constitutionality and legality of this law that was first introduced in 2004 via a Presidential decree in relation to SMM Holdings Private Limited (SMM).

This silence apart from deafening represents the greatest betrayal of the promise of justice, fairness and equity.

You may agree with my position that Mr. Joe Mutizwa who represented listed companies on 6 December 2018 at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee failed to mention to the world that although President Mnangagwa has made impassioned calls for accelerated foreign direct investment (FDI), a law exists that allowed a reconstruction order to be issued in relation to Hwange Colliery Company Limited (Hwange) to be issued by the Minister of Justice whose effect was to divest shareholders of the rights and freedoms in relation to their property without their consent and knowledge.

Following Mr. Mutizwa’s dismal performance, I have had the opportunity of sharing my concern that there exists a serious civics literacy deficit in Zimbabwe, a position which your tweet seems to ignore in preference of a direct attack on my actions and outcries that you believe are suspect and sponsored.

What I have learned is that if we allow people like Mr. Mutizwa and yourself who have been silent and continue to be silent on what I believe matters to a prosperous Zimbabwe for all, the cost will be borne by the majority who have no capacity and wherewithal to mitigate the financial and economic consequences.

I am based currently in the United Kingdom and like you my sister I was naive to expect that the fatalism that is manifest generally in politics is absent in business affairs.

I am sure that you will agree that since Hwange was placed under extrajudicial reconstruction, there has been no voice of business and reason to challenge the rationality, legality and constitutionality of this draconian law.

On the contrary, when in September 2004, SMM’s directors were dismissed by Mr. Afaras Gwaradzimba pursuant to a reconstruction order issued by the then Minister of Justice, Hon. Patrick Chinamasa, I also took the view that Mr. Mawere, as the shareholder, had been the author of his demise and as such I suffered no obligation to inquire into the facts and circumstances of the company let alone the propriety and the actions used to displace the lawful stakeholders of the company.

It was only until the Hwange affair that I began to question my own complicity in giving rise to a reality that can visit many of us including Econet, a company that you may have an interest in.

It is my understanding that you are working on some charity programs with the First Lady of Zimbabwe and hopefully you are close enough to influence the powers that be to act in the best interests of Zimbabwe.

However, the tone of your tweet would seem to suggest that you genuinely believe that the cause that I have taken is  not a just cause as on the face of it, it would seem that by challenging the constitutionality and legality of the Reconstruction Act, I am being used by Mr. Mawere in his presumed bid to get his companies back.

It has also come to my attention that there is an audio of a conversation between Dr. Daniel Shumba, who I understand was a fellow shareholder with you in a company called TSM Private Limited (TSM), and Mr. Mawere that is in the public domain whose contends may have motivated your tweet.

Assuming my interpretation is correct, it would appear that you believe that my outcry and actions in openly stating that the Reconstruction Act is a “toxic law” that belongs to a fascist and socialist dispensation is misguided and fatally flawed.

President Mnangagwa’s commitment to restoring the rule of law and constitutionalism is well known but concerns have been raised on implementation aspects.

I am sure you are aware of the article below published in the Herald on 21 December 2018 in which the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa said that the government is working on four Bills that will lead to a repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) as the two pieces of legislation “have toxic areas” redolent “of the old dispensation.

It is my considered view that the Reconstruction Act belongs to a class of laws that are so reprehensible that they do not need to be considered as laws at all.

I could be wrong in concluding that by stating that some of the outcries and actions in pursuit of justice seem and look so right: “until you discover the source of the outcry and sponsor of the cause,” you were speaking directly to me.

If my reading is correct, you were directly castigating me for attacking the Reconstruction Act as one of the laws that stands and ought to be repealed simply because it is tainted by Mr. Mawere who although you are not naming him would probably stand to be vindicated if this law is scrapped.

I am sure you will agree that this law has been used in relation to a number of parties beyond Mr. Mawere as may be the case with AIPPA and POSA.

I am not sure of what your state of mind was when you chose the words in the tweet in question but it would appear that you hold the position that justice ought to be selective and in this case the sponsor of my action in your words is Mr. Mawere who deserves no justice let alone sympathy if he was the only victim.

In other words, apart from your husband who obtained refuge from the Courts with public support and sympathy, you are suggesting that we ought to have looked at Mr. Masiyiwa the driver of the litigation to establish whether in fighting for the liberalization of the telecommunications industry, he was solely motivated by personal gain and not by any public interest.

Should we follow the example of your husband where the fight for liberalization was contextualized as a fight for justice but the reality has turned otherwise with you now preaching a message of selective justice simply because the prime victim is a person you hold in low esteem?

I am still troubled by your tweet and the moral, legal and constitutional implications therefrom. It is not at all clear what your position is in relation to the law in question.

I would have been happy if you could substantiate your claim about the connection between the quest of justice and the alleged sponsorship.

It was my expectation that the journey Econet has travelled would have produced rich experiences to share about why the rule of law is a critical ingredient in driving positive change.

I cannot find anyone in the business sector who has fought relentlessly using the constitution as a lever to a market-led telecommunications industry than your spouse and at no stage did I think about the real motivation behind the many litigations until now.

I am sure that where your spouse is concerned, the end must justify the means and where the Reconstruction Act operates, you have no problem with the law’s toxicity.

It is clear to me that if the people who look up to as the beacons of hope and justice turn out to be charlatans, then we are all compelled to begin to reimagine civics.  I have learned that I do fail to learn what public power is and is not, how it is practiced, someone else like you my sister will, in my name, in my turf, with my voice, and against my interests.

For any casual reader, it would appear that your tweet was meant to be a wake up call for all rational and forward-thinking people yet in reality it was meant to divide and discourage a person like me from being engaged as a citizen on what should matter to our common future.

You have provoked and ignited my passion to now critically examine your own journey to stardom and wealth. It is important that our eyes and ears are not diverted to focus on what you deem are axis of evil like Mawere, Shumba and many others that you think are not supportive of your husband but to build a new culture where ideas about citizenship, power, and responsibility are democratized and celebrated.

It may be the case that unlike Mawere, your husband’s actions have been solely motivated by a quest for justice.  If this is the case, I for one will now have to listen to other voices about the true facts associated with your commercial narrative.

The Econet story has rightly or wrongly ignited interest but the facts around it are not generally shared as is the case in respect of the SMM story that has seen Mr. Mawere in the public domain unpacking the story behind the story.

We can only deepen our understanding of citizen power by telling the stories the way it should be done.  It is important, therefore, that we use the stories of Strive Masiyiwa, James Makamba, Reward Kangai, Dr. Julius Makoni, William Nyemba, Gilbert Muponda, James Mushore, Enock Kamushinda, and many others to establish whether black business excellence in general has celebrated or vilified.

It is striking that your husband’s narrative gives no recognition to people like Dr. Shumba’s role yet Dr. Shumba has V11 forms that confirm that on 15 January 1999, an extra-ordinary general meeting of TSM shareholders was held at which you were represented as a shareholder.

The resolutions raise a number of troubling questions that seem to support Dr. Shumba’s version that he could have been a victim of an orchestrated fraudulent scheme involving the disposal of his shares in TSM.

In terms of the resolutions set out in the attachment, it is not clear to me how you could participate in a sham meeting whose agenda fell outside the jurisdiction of the shareholders when regard is had to the fact that none of the shareholders were shareholders of the listed company, Econet.

Dr. Shumba is on record stating that the shares he held in TSM were not tradeable and, therefore, could not be sold as a proxy of the listed shares.

It is clear from the thread below that there is some confusion as to what motivated the EGM to be convened in relation to the affairs of TSM yet the substance of the meeting was about the right, title and interest of TSM as a juristic person in its own right in relation to Econet.

You participated at this meeting where TSM, Continental Securities and Kingdom Securities were not represented yet the resolutions passed affected their rights and obligations.

I am sure you would have known at the material time that Dr. Shumba’s shares could not be sold through stockbrokers.

I end this portion of my letter to you by sharing a thread on twitter on this issue and its materiality in determining the role, if any, of Mr. Mawere in Econet affairs as you seem to suggest.

I have now established with certainty that if Dr. Shumba has any residual concerns about how he was dealt with by your husband, such concerns have nothing to do with Mr. Mawere.

However, I stand to be corrected by you how you have arrived at the conclusion that Dr. Shumba and Mr. Mawere are the parties that are abusing people like me on the question of the legality and rationality of the Reconstruction Act.

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