Flamboyant entrepreneur, Frank Buyanga, is challenging the Zimbabwe government to tackle corruption within state institutions with the mighty of the law for the economy to grow and also lure new investment into the country.
Buyanga, one of South Africa’s richest young entrepreneurs with a personal fortune estimated at US$20 million, says in a letter to a director in President Robert Mugabe’s office that reforming State-owned enterprises would benefit Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe has been on downwards spiral for sometime with the economy in comatose; and corruption in government has been cited as the major catalyst of the depressing situation.
This week a Zimbabwean minister of higher education, Jonathan Moyo, evaded arrest after an alleged corruption case surfaced within one of the state owned entities under his command.
In his letter to Innocent Tizora, director of State residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Buyanga wrote: “In the spirit of harnessing State resources to correctly cascade to the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe, I strongly feel that your good office should come up with additional strategies to curb corruption, improve capacity utilisation and instil a culture of accountability within all government parastatals as well as any companies that government has shareholding.”
Buyanga laments that: “Dossiers and reports have proved massive misappropriation of resources across the commercial divide and this inevitably has a direct impact on the welfare of the Zimbabwean people.”
In his letter he says mismanagement in State controlled firms is the major reason behind high unemployment, a severe deterioration of public infrastructure, a rising informal sector, diminishing public confidence in government and an exodus of Zimbabweans to other countries.
He argues that evidence of rampant corruption and mismanagement in State firms has been produced by the auditor- general for many years.
Buyanga has an impressive investment portfolio with interests that cut across the hospitality, mining, micro-finance and construction sectors.
Earlier this year it was reported that insurer Hollard had set its eyes on acquiring a majority stake in two of his Zimbabwean insurance companies Hamilton Insurance and Cell Funeral Assurance.
Last week, local and international media reported that Buyanga is eyeing a 40 percent stake in cement manufacturer, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe, a subsidiary unit of Lafarge-Holcim in South Africa, a unit the world’s largest building materials producer with operations in 90 countries worldwide.
Buyanga has reportedly approached Lafarge’s executives with his proposal, and is planning to make the acquisition through African Cell , a subsidiary of South Africa-based Hamilton Capital.