The brains behind Mnangagwa’s ascendacy

HIS name is Larry Mavima (LM). This is the man who together with former Cabinet minister July Moyo and many others, managed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political machinations from behind the scenes until Friday when their candidate landed the highest post on the land.

By Blessed Mhlanga

Besides being National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board chairman, Zanu PF central committee member and former Midlands provincial vice-chairman, Mavima and his team played a pivotal role in engineering Mnangagwa’s ascendancy, in the process setting themselves on a collision course with former President Robert Mugabe’s heavy State machinery.

He is close to the First Family and has worked with Mnangagwa on a number of projects, including the construction of the ruling Zanu PF party’s Midlands Conference Centre. He speaks to NewsDay (ND) reporter Blessed Mhlanga.

ND: Can you briefly explain how you feel following the inauguration of President Mnangagwa last Friday.

LM: I am a happy, excited and free man, what we fought for, for the last 20 to 30 years has happened today. Comrade Mnangagwa has been installed as the second Executive President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. This is what we have always wanted. There was nothing wrong with the former President (Robert Mugabe), but he just stayed too long and it’s not good for any nation to have a leader for 37 years. We could have had probably four or five different leaders by now, just like all our neighbours in Southern Africa.

ND: The Zanu PF leadership has always revered Mugabe, describing him as the only person with brains to sustain the party and country against machinations of the West. Do you or did you subscribe to the notion that Mugabe was supper human?

LM: There is no one man with monopoly to power, intelligence, ideas, we need to constantly change and renew ourselves. By installing Cde Mnangagwa as President, we have renewed ourselves as a country, we can now look forward to the future. We don’t forget the past, we remember it. (But) We don’t leave in the past.

ND: Can you tell us what he went through as he was being insulted in front of people by his juniors in government and the party.

LM: Well, we all went through hell from the G40 guys, but we knew that we would survive. I personally was attacked by G40 with Jonathan Moyo suggesting that I should be charged with treason. But now who is hiding, who is running away from his own country?

I can walk without fear because I am not a criminal, I don’t steal from government coffers. They ran away because of their criminal activities. The Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund is waiting for them to answer their case. Look, everyone is free, we have not had as many police around in the past week, as many soldiers that Mugabe used to have around him. Look where we are, we feel happy, we wish our new President well and hope that the people of Zimbabwe will give him a chance.

ND: Let’s go back to the treason issue that Moyo wanted you to be arrested for, distributing (Mnangagwa’s) statements, was it a treasonous act?

LM: I think we can ask Jonathan Moyo that if you find him I think he will be able to tell us. Personally, I don’t think there is anything treasonous. The Constitution gives us freedom of speech, freedom to communicate, I was merely communicating what my principal told me to do.

ND: On his Twitter handle the (former Higher Education) minister also accused you of fronting Mnangagwa at Hanawa Super Foods, what role does he (the President) play in the business?

LM: That is utter rubbish. It shows that he (Moyo) is not at the level he claims to be as a professor. His tweets suggested that no blackman can run a successful business without fronting those in government positions. It’s not my fault that he couldn’t found and run a big business, why could he say I can’t do it? Cde Mnangagwa is not a shareholder in Hanawa or any of my businesses. That is a family-owned business which can be verified at the Registrar of Companies. That was just all to tarnish my image and tarnish the image of the President.

ND: You are NRZ board chairman, what does this new era promise for the parastatal?

LM: Things will move a bit more faster, if you remember the first submission of the recapilatisation deal of NRZ to Cabinet was scuttled by G40 people because they thought it was a Team Lacoste project, but it was a project for Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe. I believe that the new Cabinet will expedite the processes. We are almost there in terms of the agreement as we have structured with DIDG Transnet and we hope that by the beginning of the first quarter that project will be implemented.
ND: There are sentiments that President Mnangagwa is pro-business, you know the man, could this be true?

LM: He is probably one of the finest, most articulate, intelligent and forward-looking businessmen in this country. I urge all businessmen and the corporate world to engage him to provide suggestions to him in terms of how this economy can be improved and how this economy can move forward. It will take every Zimbabwean to participate. It will not take the President alone, but all of us and I urge Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to come back and invest in the country. I also urge the international community to come in and see for themselves that Zimbabwe is open for business.

ND: Do you see the indigenisation policy being retained under the Mnangagwa leadership?

LM: Well, I think the President will take a look at it and see where amendments need to be made so that we accommodate the foreign investor so that we give enough protection and assurance to the foreign investor, at the same time empowering our own people.

ND: If you were to advise the President on bond notes, what will be your advice?

LM: Look, everything depends with the confidence levels of the people of Zimbabwe. We need our own currency and I am sure that in time policies will be crafted that will see the re-introduction of the Zimbabwean currency.

No country can exist without its own currency. At the moment, Zimbabwe is one of three countries in the world that doesn’t have its own currency and that is not sustainable. We cannot continue to work with the United States dollar as our currency, we have no control over its monetary policy. We need to have a currency where we can have control of the monetary policy. This government, this President is going to give direction that will give stability to the local currency.

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  1. It is possible to survive economically without own currency as is the case with the european union countries. In the zimbabwe situation the currency died down because of abuse and misuse by both the monetary and fiscal authorities. It is not possible to have financial confidence in a system that manipulates the national currency for political ends. Devaluations and overprinting of money results in high prices and complaints about foreign currency allocation issues from the industrial and commercial sectors. It’s better that we do not have a currency that political players can fiddle around with for their own purposes and not the national good. Priority must be given to the removal of excessive taxes that ake our goods and services super expensive because of the exhorbitant charges levied by government on diesel and petrol which then impacts negatively on everything else downstream including commodities in the shops, seed, fertilisers and many other things.
    Our producer prices for maize, wheat, soya beans and other items should also be reduced to be at par with those in the region and the world. We don’t need to price ourselves out of the regional and international markets just for political gamesmanship.

  2. I believe conditions for the return to our currency (zim dollar) are not yet ripe, if they are in place. I also believe that for now, like Solo said above, we need to instill discipline in how we transact with the foreign currency, let us not ‘stock it in our vaults’. This is why bond is scarce because it is now being used as ‘bait to fish out the US dollar’. Lets engage widely on this before we rush with emotional decisions that may only work for a day or two.

  3. The Rand is what we need, not the US Dollar. Its easier to talk to an African brother government like that of SA, should we have difficultEes than to talk to a Western White country like the US whose objectives are all about domination.

  4. You dont need “brains” to stage a coup.. If that is ED’s brain trust then we have more problems on our plate

    1. Try staging a coup to prove that it does not need brains to stage one Pasipamire. Uri kutotadza kubvisa mukadzi wako wausisade chaiye

    2. On the contrary, you actually need brains to stage a coup especially in view of the system Bob had put in place over the years. This is a case of a necessary evil I guess but it was the ONLY way!!

    3. Comment…We have another Professor in place for Jonso, claiming credit to a naturally collapsed system. It has been clean that without the gun someone else would have ruled this country. So LM has become a shooting star fro…is it a profile boosting adventure? What I come to realise is that most Profs are more theoretical in their dealings and normally want to reaper where others have sown and cultivated, because we let them lead thinking that the book has made them clever…yes it has made them clever but not any wiser.

  5. No currency will when there is no industry, which ever magic and policies (monetary or fiscal) you apply will work!, its like trying to quicken a dead body, whatever you do, it wont come alive

  6. No currency will work when there is no industry, which ever magic and policies (monetary or fiscal) you apply will work!, its like trying to quicken a dead body, whatever you do, it wont come alive

  7. I think the only part people focused attention to was when Mr Mavima mentioned the zim currency . This however looks like a progressive leadership with a better understanding of the situation on the ground as compared to their pre-dessecors . We however need to adress the immediate problems before we think of our currency . Amendment of the indeginisation policy to make zim more favourable for investement . Removal of some of the draconian pieces of legislations laid by the previous administration, stop socio-economic decay which has manifested into unimaginable unemployment rates , ever increasing prices coupled with a high standard of living in a low income country. For the first time i see light at the end of the tunnel. #operation restore legacy .

  8. Jimmy jimalo the 2nd

    I agree with you The Analyst. I am sure it needs a lot of brains, big ones for the matter, for such a thing to succeed!

    1. …and ours didn’t, it was a matter of life or death, for those who staged it.

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