Ex-War Veterans minister Chris Mutsvangwa who was last week dismissed from government by Robert Mugabe in a bitter succession battle on Monday spoke to TheZimbabwenewslive (TZN) about his achievements in Independent Zimbabwe. Below are excerpts of the interview.
TZN: Briefly take us through what you have achieved in independent Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa: I have only been 1 year in Cabinet and Politburo of Mugabe who has ruled for 36 years and I have personally known for 40 years.
He is in his undoubted twilight even as he still lives that long. I am over 60 now with grandchildren, well beyond official retirement. In intervening period, I have done so many things including diplomacy, broadcast ceo, global level telecoms and internet consultant, ambassadorship.
This is the vocation I consciously applied myself too. Political appointments that are a priori determined asca reward for popular choice could thus not be misconstrued as having been my primary purpose.
TZN: After that fallout with Mugabe why did you not resign?
Mutsvangwa: As to why I did not resign, I repeat I wanted to still give him that honour to fire me. Besides the long association described, I am the only member of parliament candidate he campaigned for on 2013 Election with an additional Norton rally to his ten for each province.
I therefore still put great appreciation to that honour and recognition in bolstering my electoral appeal. The G40 were not amused by this presidential partiality to me.
All their energy has been expended to destroy that bond.
You sense it in their palpable sense of jubilation and hubris. I have solid and unrivalled record of material achievements.
This month tobacco auction floors open for yet another multi billion dollar season of leaf tobacco sales.
I SINGULARLY and INNOVATIVELY spearheaded the investment of China Tobacco into contract tobacco.
This was the first time ever that a global level corporate behemoth had set foot in Zimbabwe solely for benefit of indigenous Zimbos.
I fondly recall the support from the deathbed of cancer afflicted Simon Vengesayi Muzenda as I fitfully lobbied the Chinese top echelon readership coming to console that old lion of the struggle in a Beijing hospital.
I have another economic footprint in the gold industry and the now celebrated small scale miners. As chairman of the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe-MMCZ, I pioneered the attendance of the national mining industry at the all important annual Tianjin Mining Expo in 2011.
In my tow was Takavarasha and Mufandaedza of the small miners federation. I helped broaden their vistas. Today they account for 30 per cent of national gold production of a second spot in foreign exchange earnings.
I can repeat many other similar economic feats and indeed firsts I delivered to Zimbabwe. I masterminded the first ever $200 million dollar loan in 2007 bringing in Chinese tractors and lorries.
I went on as Deputy Minister to work with Ambassador Thomas Bvuma on a similar BRICS facility.
Ambassador Bvuma is a life-long friend from pre war St Augustine’s Penhalonga, University of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and fellow Chimurenga combattant.
I have been in Cabinet for a year now. Sadly this has been the most non-productive 12 months of my life.
I take consolation in my past.
Kicked out of ZBC in 1993, I went on to give Zimbabwe it’s first digital switch with NetOne and Siemens in 1998, it’s first broadband network with Utande and Alcatel in 1999 and its soon after its first Internet switch with TelOne and Cisco. Zm: And now that you are out of government…
Mutsvangwa: I am once again out of appointed public office. I can now revert to being more flexible and innovative in what I do best. I love the thrill of global business. The beauty this time is I have a formidable global network. And the rewards can be targeted so my family can be in the catbird seat. Let the good times begin.