…Murigwa new AAG Manicaland president
NEW- youthful brooms were last week Friday appointed as the incoming executive of the business lobby group Affirmative Action Group (AAG), Easterntimeszim has learnt.
A brainchild of Honourable Dr Phillip Chiyangwa and the late shrewd businessman Peter Pamire, AAG, was formed in 1994. It was created out of frustration, after noting failures by the business lobby group, Indigenous Business Development Centre (IBDC), which was the most recognized back then. Young indigenous entrepreneurs wanted to influence swift changes for the economic environment to favour indigenous black business people, so a lobby group with a more radical approach, AAG, was formed.
Popular Mutare based entrepreneur, Knowledge Murigwa mostly known for his Blutech Mart enterprise has been appointed as the new AAG Manicaland president. He was sworn in last Friday in Harare along with other incoming executive members from allover the country who are expected to serve with immediate effect until 2025. Murigwa replaces retail businessman and farmer Fungai Chaeruka who has been in office since 2014.
The 31 member new executive consists of three categories, the presidium, national executive council and provincial chairpersons (presidents). In the presidium, Zanu-PF Youth League indigenisation and empowerment secretary, Mike Chimombe, was appointed as the new national president. He takes over from entrepreneur and group chief executive officer of Cernic Finance Group, Dr Chamu Chiwanza. He will have four vice-presidents, namely the popular, controversial entrepreneur-cum-preacher Passion Java, former Tourism and Hospitality deputy Minister Anastancia Ndhlovu, Zanu-PF Seke legislator Munyaradzi Kashambe and Zanu-PF Youth League national deputy secretary Mabutho Moyo.
Clifford Hlupeko was appointed secretary-general, while Scott Sakupwanya is the treasurer-general. Ari Goldenstein will be in charge of communications and advocacy, with Tafadzwa Musukume as the legal advisor.
In the national executive council where 10 representatives were selected to represent each province countrywide, Harare based entrepreneur and businesswoman Tanya Rushesha, who is also the daughter to Defence, Security and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri, will represent Manicaland, while Murigwa will be the Manicaland president.
In an interview with Easterntimeszim Murigwa said he is excited to be part of the historic lobby group and looks forward to carve his own history by steering developmental and empowerment concerns in Manicaland. The provincial president is expected to soon set up his new provincial board which will consist of posts for a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer and committee members.
“I am really excited to have been chosen as the AAG president for Manicaland. Devolution is going to be a reality and this will be an opportunity to grow our province as the best investment destination in the country, creating employment in the process. I concur with the ideologies of our immediate past national president Dr Chiwanza that ‘youthnomics’ is the future, which means more focus should be channeled towards youths and empowerment of youths as the biggest contributors to the economy,” said Murigwa. He urged those interested in being part of the provincial board to submit their curriculum vitae’s, especially women entrepreneurs and businesswomen for gender balance.
Murigwa who has been awarded many Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) business awards since 2015 up to date holds a Masters in Business Administration. The Zvimba South legislator Hon Dr Chiyangwa in his keynote address at the function last Friday said the AAG has evolved in its advocacy strategy and now aims to focus on a broader empowerment vision under the new dispensation Government, which is why they appointed a new executive to come in energized with new strategies.
“We will actively defend the rights of all disadvantaged persons or groups against unfair and unjust treatment at the bends of institutions that draw their strength or profit from the operation of democratic and popular based governance in Zimbabwe. Unlike before, we will assume and exercise advocacy role in respect of the rights of all disadvantaged groups or persons to some kind of corrective response from the location of their grievance, at all levels of society and all sectors of the economy,” said the founding president.
AAG has in the past produced some of the country’s leading entrepreneurs like Hon Dr Chiyangwa, the late businessman cum politician Tendai Savanhu, media mogul cum politician Supa Mandiwanzira, the late Dr Keith Guzah, the late Roger Boka and Mutare based transport mogul cum politician Esau Mupfumi, to mention a few. Former Cabinet Ministers Patrick Zhuwao and Saviour Kasukuwere, among many others also once served in the presidium of AAG in their youth.
Born out of the need to promote indigenisation and empowerment, the AAG new executive gets elected during a time when the new dispensation government scrapped the indigenisation policy for all investments into the country. The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill was signed into law on March 9, 2008 amid heated debate and resistance from the business community, especially foreign owned companies.
Soon after assuming power in 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa undertook to relax the policy that required majority local shareholding in all major businesses. The government amended the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act through the 2018 budget.
The 2018 amendment scrapped the 51 percent local ownership requirement for most businesses, but kept it for the diamond and platinum mining sector.
On the other hand, speaking at a press conference in Harare early this month Zanu PF secretary for information and publicity, Simon Khaya Moyo said their department of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has since come up with a revised Zanu PF Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment policy.
The ruling party is currently embarking on countrywide meetings to meet stakeholders and the public to clear the air on the amendments made in the indigenisation policy.
“More so, the need for a revised policy came into effect after it had come to the party’s attention that the amendment to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33) (IEE Act) contained in the Finance (No 2) Act, 2020 (section 36) may have caused some misconception to the general public, stakeholders and investors in the different economic sectors,” he said in a statement, explaining why they are holding the countrywide meetings.