By Wisdom Mumera
Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa has come under heavy criticism from a section of Zimbabweans on social media following his perceived support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa during an interview on CNBC Africa.
Masiyiwa, who was generally thought to be supporting opposition politics in Zimbabwe due to the persecution he was and is still suffering from the Zanu PF government stunned a lot of people when he stated that he believed Mnangagwa was sincere and sanctions must be removed.
“I have invested in Zimbabwe in the last 10 years US$1.5 billion but concerning the change that has taken place I believe it is real, I believe President Mnangagwa is sincere in the things that he wants to do. It is going to be extremely challenging but I think that Zimbabwe needs to be given a chance.
“We got to stop the politicking and focus on rebuilding the country. I think for instance the sanctions should be removed there is no justification for them anymore.
“I have always been on record to say that the sanctions are not justified, and now we are almost 20 years into the sanctions you can’t have one country operating with its hands tied behind its back,” he said.
However, these remarks have not gone down well with some Zimbabweans on social media who feel Masiyiwa is peddling a selfish narrative to engender himself with the ruling elite as has happened with AMH chairman Trevor Ncube.
Admire: For Strive Masiyiwa to say Dambudzo is sincere is a huge insult to the people of Zimbabwe who are suffering from his deep insincerity and failures. Shame on you Strive
Fadzai Mahere: Why is it at the height of sanctions, diamonds were mined and sold on the international market but not a cent was shared with the common man? Why is it that money we make from our resources is theirs but only debt money (ostensibly locked by sanctions) can uplift the people?
Betty Makoni: Let’s all unite as Zimbabweans and challenge his power and money. It is loyal Zimbabweans paying huge tariffs who made him rich. He must stay loyal to suffering masses. He can’t speak on behalf of Zimbabweans. Unity and voice remain our wealth. Don’t promote rot Strive Masiyiwa
Fortune Mwaleh: Who is Strive Masiyiwa? Another wealthy Zimbo who has zero interest in staying in his own country wants to make decisions for us? Did he even vote? Does he eat Bakers Inn kana proton? Mapothole anomaziva? Excuse please ngaaite zvekudya etym yedu
Changu Mtetwa: Strive’s remarks are self-serving and have nothing to do with the betterment of Zimbabwe but for his business to thrive. There are reasons why sanctions were imposed on Zim and for him to call for their removal is a clear disregard of human right
Ncube Ncube: Is that one a whole Zimbabwean? Does he know life of an ordinary person here? Grew up in Zambia, got his education from Britain, he lives in a $25 million house in the US. Current government supports his monopoly and Ecocash benefitted from the crisis.
However, there was also another section of Zimbabweans who supported Masiyiwa’s remarks adding that sanctions had gone past their sell-by date and needed to be removed having failed to achieve much.
Sanctions have remained a divisive topic amongst the people with the opposition accused of promoting their continuation whilst some say they, sanctions, are a necessary impediment to the profligacy of the ruling elite which has not been responsible in financial matters.