Looting gimmick says CCC after Mnangagwa amends ‘Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act’

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By Staff Reporter

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Fadzayi Mahere says the move by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to amend the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act on Wednesday is a ploy to loot public funds “without any restrictions”.

In an X post on Thursday, Mahere said ‘’President Mnangagwa’s amendment of this law was illegal, as it breached Parliament’s section 134 of the Constitution.

“Mr Mnangagwa’s “amendment” of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act “legalises” looting on a grand scale.”

Under Statutory Instrument SI 156 of 2023, Mahere said, ‘’the new Section 20A allows them (Mnangagwa’s administration) to loot ‘without restriction’ and in USD.

“He has usurped the lawmaking function of Parliament in breach of section 134 of the constitution.”

President Mnangagwa in terms of section 2 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act Regulations, amended the Sovereign Wealth of Zimbabwe Act and renamed it to Mutapa Investment Fund which shall constitute a board known as Mutapa Investment Fund Board.

Under section 20A Transfer of funds and in respect of the investments made under the new Act, the Fund may without restriction or delay in a freely convertible currency transfer funds into and out of Zimbabwe.

‘’Contributions to capital, such as principal and additional funds to maintain, develop or increase its investment;  proceeds, profits from the assets, dividends, royalties, patent fees, licence fees, technical assistance and management fees, shares and other current income resulting from any investment of the Fund under this Act; proceeds from the sale or liquidation of the whole or part of an investment or property owned by the Fund;  payments made under a contract entered into by the Fund, including payments made pursuant to a loan agreement; earnings and other remuneration of foreign personnel legally employed in Zimbabwe by the Fund or in connection with an investment of the Fund or any transfer of funds shall be allowed only after paying all tax obligations imposed on the amount,’’ read part of the new Section of the SI.

Mahere added Mnangagwa amended the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act under SI 156 of 2023 to “give himself the power” to exempt certain public transactions from application of the Act.

Amendment of section 3 of Cap. 22:23, Section 3 (“Application of Act”) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act [Chapter 22:22] is amended by the insertion of the following provision to subsection (6).

“Provided that a declaration under this subsection may be published as soon as possible after the event which gave rise to it if the event happened in the context of a natural or other disaster or other emergency.”

Insertion of subsection after subsection (8): The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in consultation with the Authority, and by notice in the Gazette, may exempt from the application of this Act a prescribed public entity operating in competitive markets or which is managed under a management contract by a third party which is not a public entity and which third party owns not less than thirty per centum of the entire issued shares of that public entity, for such period as shall be specified in the notice.”

President Mnangagwa through the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) has over the past five years put in place more than 300 Statutory Instruments (SIs).