Chin, China, Chinese

Ousted Mwana CE Kalaa Mpinga says ready to move on, sees opportunities in Africa
13/06/2015 00:00:00
by The Source – Harare

OUSTED Mwana Africa chief executive officer Kalaa Mpinga says he is not a bitter man and is ready to explore investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and Africa following his shock departure from the resources group he founded 12 years ago.

Mpinga, 55, was forced out of Mwana last Wednesday following a series of clashes with majority Chinese shareholders and a group of minorities on Wednesday, a day after an extraordinary general meeting in London ousted his allies from the board.

Sources said sharp differences between Mpinga, the Chinese and other minority shareholders emerged after last year’s annual general meeting over the company’s strategy.

Majority shareholder, China International Mining Group Corporation (CIMGC) and its chairman Yat Hoi Ning were opposing the contracting of a South African company and a local metallurgist to spearhead the restart of the smelting complex, opting for Chinese firms.

They were also opposing the company’s acquisitive strategy which was being pushed by Mpinga.

Mpinga told The Source in his first interview since his ouster that he is proud to have turned around the mining company’s prospects, whose local assets were teetering at the brink of collapse at the height of the country’s economic crisis in 2008.

CIMGC came on board in 2012 with a $21 million investment to restart Mwana’s Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC).

“My relationship with Zimbabwe started before I started Mwana,” Mpinga told The Source in a telephone interview.

“I had a life in Zimbabwe before Mwana. I had a life in Zimbabwe whilst I was at Mwana and I will have a life in Zimbabwe after Mwana. I continue to believe that Zimbabwe is a very exciting investment destination and I will be there.

“I am very proud, to use your example, I had a child and my child has now graduated and is ready to move on with his life…I am very proud of what I have achieved there and I’m looking forward to other challenges in Zimbabwe and anywhere else.

“You know Africa is still to be rebuilt and I have been doing this for the past 25 years and I intend to continue.”

Mpinga said he sees investment opportunities in mining, infrastructure and energy.

“One of the things that have been exciting me the most in the past few months in Zimbabwe was the farm that we have at Freda Rebecca and the potential you have in farming in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“I am an agricultural economist so I will say that food (agriculture is a potential area for investment), energy, infrastructure and mining. There are a lot of things to do. Everything needs to be reviewed and everything needs to grow continent-wise.”

Mpinga has proved adept at navigating Zimbabwe’s treacherous terrain, infamously one of Africa’s worst, after being fingered in an alleged internal Zanu PF coup plot against President Robert Mugabe, ostensibly to catapult now Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency, in 2005.

Mpinga vehemently denied accusations he had chartered a plane that took Zanu PF officials to a plotters’ rendezvous and lived to tell the tale, remaining an investor and frequent visitor to unforgiving Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

He, however, failed to survive a coup instigated by a small group of activist shareholders, executed in broad day-light on a placid Tuesday in London.

Grass is Browner on the Other Side

“This book was written so that we may take heed and remold our story. I am certain that when enough of us become aware of how we are being exploited by the economic engine that creates an insatiable appetite for the world’s resources, and results in systems that foster slavery, we will no longer tolerate it. We will reassess our role in a world where a few swim in riches and the majority drown in poverty, pollution, and violence . We will commit ourselves to navigating a course toward compassion, democracy, and social justice for all.”

― John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

VP Mnangagwa says CAs crucial in the fight against corruption

VP Mnangagwa says CAs crucial in the fight against corruption

HARARE, Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa has said chartered accountants are a key component to driving the country’s economic development as they manage accountability in various government institutions.

Officiating at the 20th anniversary of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) celebrations yesterday, Mnangagwa said chartered accountants were a vital constituency in driving the country’s development.

“It therefore goes without saying that no economy can grow successfully and expand competitively without the involvement of chartered accountants,” he said in a speech read on his behalf.

“You are a relevant component and a very critical constituency towards the economic growth of our country and the realisation of the goals of Zim Asset,” he said.

Mnangagwa said ICAZ was already providing assistance to various arms of government including the Ministry of Trade and Commerce in reviving distressed companies.

He said accountants were also crucial in the fight against corruption.

“It (corruption) is a cancer in both the private and public sectors that we in government have identified as a contributory factor militating against economic development,” he said.

Mnangagwa applauded ICAZ for growing its brand to be internationally recognised.

Zimbabwe’s chartered accounting qualification is recognised by similar institutions in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland and Hong Kong.

ICAZ president Bothwell Nyajeka said at least 47% of the current membership is working outside the country compared to the 90’s when most members were operating in Zimbabwe.

“As chartered accountants, we believe improved financial management and good corporate governance will lead to economic growth,” he said.

He said the institution is also looking at partnering the government’s arm of the Auditor General in accounting as government and public sector have the biggest revenue and asset base.

“With improved accountability, these can turn around the economy,” he said.

A spokesperson for the ICAZ Council, Nyasha Zhou said the institution was concerned about the state of the economy and country’s apparent concentration on political issues at the expense of the economy.

“We have more people on the streets selling anything that they can find and that is not tenable,” he said.

Zhou, who is the former chief executive of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange hardware retail group, PG Industries, said there was need for government to address policy discord.

“What you see here are big brains, man and women of skills, intellect, who can be in any country in the world, but they love this country, we are ready to offer solutions that can help build this economy.,” he said.

He said the continued decline in the economy has been painful to almost everyone and more people are now in the streets selling anything. He also pointed to the collapse of infrastructure which has come as a result of economic stagnation.

He said chartered accountants were ready to assist government by any means if called upon in efforts to revive the economy.

He said CAs are concerned about the diversion that has been caused by politics at the expense of the working on improving the economy. He also said there was need for government to address policy discord and inconsistency.

“There is too much energy being spent dwelling on political issues and not on the economy, if we harness this energy towards the economy, we can achieve the Zimbabwe we want,” he said.

Financial Express

There are opportunities everywhere in Zim, says US trade mission

There are opportunities everywhere in Zim, says US trade mission, but..!

HARARE – A visiting American business group, the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) said on Friday Zimbabwe had a favorable investment climate and U.S companies are willing to invest in the country except that the country has a complicated legislative framework and is not predictable on policy.

The CCA is a membership-based organization which was established in 1993 to promote business and investment between the United States and African countries.

It is touted as the premier American organization devoted to U.S.-Africa business relations and has a membership of more than 180 companies.

Addressing a press conference, CCA head of delegation Philip de Leon said despite political differences between the two countries, trade and investment opportunities existed.

“Our assessment is that Zimbabwe is open for business; there are business opportunities everywhere, now the real work starts, meaning we need to do follow ups. I would say my opinion is positive. I will go back home to my colleagues and report that I have a good feeling and that I met people who are willing to work with us. It will all be in the implementation. The ball is partly in Zimbabwe’s court to make things happen, however my perception at this stage is very positive,” he said.

The head of delegation said potential hurdles to trade between Zimbabwe and the US include the legislative framework and access to capital

“Access to capital is a key issue as we need to decide whether the financing will come from Zimbabwe or from abroad. Other hindrances include rule of law and predictability. We need to have a clear understanding of the legal environment. We have had numerous discussions on the indigenisation rule, we have got some clarification which can help us better understand the situation,” he said.

De Leon said the sour political relations between Zimbabwe and USA would not dampen the business co-operation between the two countries.

“We try to stay to away from politics, we are here to talk about trade, and my experience is that politicians come and go but business people stay. We have established relationships at a personal level, we met a lot of people we have engaged personally, and those are the people we will stay in touch with. We are also here to talk about what is needed in Zimbabwe because we can bring solutions,” he said.

He said one such solution could be helping Zimbabwe increase its exports by improving production.

“Investment in the country will be dependent on how much volumes we can bring into Zimbabwe. We are interested in investing in various sectors which include trade, finance agriculture and mining. However, we also have a desire to increase exports out of Zimbabwe; we have conveyed some of the solutions of the companies we are representing, that are offering a way to improve production in Zimbabwe, enabling the country to increase exports,” he said.

De Leon said Zimbabwe showed more enthusiasm as compared to Zambia which the trade delegation also visited.

The enthusiasm in Zimbabwe was greater. Zambia has grown in confidence to a certain extent, but Zimbabwe knows that it needs to wake up and we have seen a lot of enthusiasm. We follow the Warren Buffet principle of investing only in what you understand. So far, we quite understand the situation,” he said.

De Leon said recommendations from the visit would be forwarded to the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.

The visit was organized by the Corporate Council on Africa which comprises 180 companies 20% of which are from Africa.