Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa who endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, saying he believes the Zanu PF leader who won a disputed election in July is “sincere” and sanctions must go has responded to critics posting a message on his Facebook page saying he cannot be monopolised, suffered under the Mugabe government and above all is entitled to his opinion.
Masiyiwa insists for sanctions imposed by the United States to be removed, saying they were not justified.
Below is his full statement on Facebook.
“I BELONG TO EVERYBODY, AND I BELONG TO NOBODY”
As an entrepreneur. on many occasions I have had initiatives for my country Zimbabwe. which could have created tens of thousands of new jobs. When I have discussed them with either investors or banks, they have turned me away. saying: “We don’t want to violate the sanctions in your country.” I have documents and emails from bankers and investors. I tried so hard to persuade some of them often suggesting that they are not interpreting the sanctions correctly.
In my case I was forced to go to China to secure loans to support our Zimbabwean businesses. But this was not always ideal. I have spoken about it publicly on many occasions even in the US and China itself.
It is not right that we as business should have to work under such conditions. when all we want is to create jobs and livelihoods for ordinary people. Now if Zimbabwe had been a person who committed a crime for which they went to prison, would you not say 20 years is enough?
Zimbabwe has served its prison time. It’s time for the country to be given a chance to get back on its feet. I fled my country when assassins were sent to kill me. I had been tipped off by someone in the Mugabe government who was related to me. Even when I left the country, there were other attempts to kidnap me in SA.
It has been 18 and half years. Only I have the right to decide when to come home. My executives [in Zimbabwe] were arrested and held in leg irons for 16 days. I endured all the persecutions including the bombing and My executives [in Zimbabwe] were arrested and held in leg irons for 16 days. I endured all the persecutions. including the bombing and shutting down of my newspaper business. No one stood in our corner or expressed indignation.perhaps because there was no Twitter?
Now will the end of Western sanctions end all our problems? Absolutely not! As I have said no one should be under any illusion that this is going to be very, very tough, as many of the issues to be tackled are due to bad policies going back decades including corruption. Let’s not allow the sanctions to be a crutch, and stumbling block to some of the issues that need resolution.
“My Name is Strive Masiyiwa, and I’m with the suffering ordinary Zimbabweans, who need to see jobs, livelihoods,and investment in our country. I call for an end to sanctions now.
And I reiterate my call for people to work together in the national interest.-
Intimidation and threats have never affected me. I stood up to Mugabe when most of those issuing threats by Twitter were either in diapers or hiding, or even simply minding their own business. Whatever! I did not rail at them, and never will or demand that they say only what I approve.
“I BELONG TO EVERYBODY, AND I BELONG TO NOBODY” [Charles De Gaulle]