Parliament summons empowerment advisory firm Brainworks over controversial deals

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A parliamentary committee has summoned Brainworks Capital for a hearing on how they were engaged by government to do consultancy work on community share ownership trusts without going to tender.
Brainworks was contracted by government to advise on the implementation of the indigenisation programme in mining.
Under the deals, foreign miners were ordered to cede 51 percent shareholding to locals as well as donate millions to so-called community development trusts.
According to a letter sent to the private equity firm by the clerk of parliament, Kennedy Chokunda, Brainworks will appear before the parliamentary committee on Youth Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Zanu PF MP for Gokwe Nembudziya Justice Mayor Wadyajena this Thursday.
The company will be asked to explain how they were awarded the tender to offer consultancy services on the indigenisation of Zimplats and other mining firms by the then minister responsible for empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere.
“The purpose of the meeting is for you to brief the committee on … consultancy agreement entered with the ministry of youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on the work you did on behalf of the ministry … terms of reference for the projects you have done or currently are doing for the ministry,” reads the letter.
The George Manyere-led group was, in 2013, exposed for having been offered the contract to broker the indigenisation implementation by the  Zimplats and Unki platinum mines among other companies.
Brainworks was paid handsomely by the mining companies.
Controversy soon ensured after the firm demanded millions more from Unki mine which the latter refused to pay saying Brainworks had done its consultancy on behalf of government and should demand payment from State agencies it contracted with.
There was a also a public row pitting Kasukuwere, supported by current information minister Jonathan Moyo, on the one hand and former central bank governor Gideon Gono who opposed to empowerment deals saying they were not in the interests of the country.
Meanwhile, the Parly committee asked Brainworks to bring all the documentation which shows how they were awarded the advisory job by government and its agencies.
Observers said the move by the committee to invite Brainworks could be politically motivated.Advertisement

Wadyajena has long had run-ins with Kasukuwere who is seen as a threat to the rise of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as President Robert Mugabe’s successor.
Wadyajena is Mnangagwa’s side kick and usually claims the blessings of his political godfather in everything he does.