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John Mushayavanhu


RBZ chief has Zanu PF credentials



RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mushayavanhu once served in Zanu PF structures as Masvingo provincial party treasurer and is a close associate of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, also a relative.


The two worked closely together when Mnangagwa was in charge of the ruling party business empire the Democratic Republic of Congo war of 1998-2002.

Positing on his social media X handle on 4 April, former Tourism minister Walter Mzembi disclosed that Mushayavanhu once held the portfolio of provincial treasurer for Zanu PF in Masvingo.

Both Muzembi and Mushayavanhu are from Masvingo.

“The most encouraging attribute out of the recent appointment of the new Reserve Bank Governor Dr John Mushayavanhu is his quiet and calculating disposition. He is a reserved character, and second guessed most of the time. In his brief stint as Treasurer for Zanu PF Masvingo Province he never uttered a word, after three meetings he concluded he had made the wrong decision to accept the co-option and quit quietly to pursue his banking career,” he said.

“I would like to give him a chance starting from tomorrow and I am sure he won’t rush to say if I don’t get it right in six months, fire me like both his predecessor & current Minister of Finance and then stay for years after failing. Kugona basa kuriita (success comes from hard work)”.

Mushayavanhu was FBC Holdings (FBCH) chief executive before his appointment.
In the corridors of power, Mushayavanhu is known as Mnangagwa’s close and trusted business associate, having worked with him in the nexus between Zanu PF companies, local business circles and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) investment adventures during the Congo War from 1998-2002.

Mnangagwa — Mugabe’s point man on the war even though he was not Defence minister then — and Zimbabwe’s military networks through Operation Sovereign Legitimacy (Osleg) and associated companies were accused by the United Nations of looting the DRC.

In 2008, the United States sanctioned Thamer Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Shanfari, an Omani national with close ties to the Mugabe regime and his top officials then, as well as his company, Oryx Natural Resources, which mined diamonds in the DRC. Zimbabwe’s military company Osleg (Pvt) Ltd was also sanctioned.

Al-Shanfari has since fled Zimbabwe running from some unresolved local crimes.

Given his closeness to Mnangagwa, Mushayavanhu was certain to replace his namesake John Mangudya.

Before his appointment, Mnangagwa’s political allies were so impatient that they wanted Mushayavanhu to replace Mangudya in 2019 when his first term ended. There was a big fight for Mangudya to get a second term.

Mnangagwa however allowed Mangudya to finish his term.

A quiet veteran banker who likes operating in the shadows, like the President himself, Mushayavanhu has been Mnangagwa’s close business and personal associate for a long time.

They have worked together behind the scenes on private sector deals, Zanu PF business networks, including the formation of FBC which was initiated by the ruling party, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through the bank on which they were both directors for the Great Lakes country’s operation.

An insider told The NewsHawks Mushayavanhu is part of Mnangagwa’s business team.

“Their business network is big and wide, and includes the Joshi family (Manharlal Chiunilal and Jayant Chiunilal Joshi) that Mnangagwa worked with at Zanu PF when he was still party treasurer and secretary for administration. Mushayavanhu worked with the Joshi family at the bank and on the Zuva Petroleum deal when it acquired assets worth over US$29 million from Masawara plc. Masawara had bought the assets from BP & Shell in Zimbabwe,” said a source.

Mnangagwa’s cabinet appointments, civil service deployments and control of strategic positions have placed his clansmen from the Midlands and Masvingo in control, fuelling undesirable ethnic tensions.

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