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Eyebrows raised as Mnangagwa renames Sovereign Wealth fund via Presidential Powers.

President Mnangagwa Rename Sovereign Wealth Fund As Mutapa Investment Fund

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has used the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures Act) to rename the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe as the Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF).

He also transferred the shareholding of 20 state-owned companies to the renamed Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF). The Vesting of Shares of these Companies in the Mutapa Investment Fund was stated under the Fourth Schedule (Section 14 (4)). The companies are:

– Defold Mine (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 6030/2015
– Zimbabwe United Passenger Company Limited – Reg. No. 504/1980
– Kuvimba Mining House (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 13291/2020
– Silo Investments (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 3460/1992
– National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 531/1983
– Cold Storage Commission Limited – Reg. No. 716/1995
– Petrotrade (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 5608/2010
– POSB – People’s Own Savings Bank
– NetOne Cellular (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 2225/2000
– National Railways Holding Zimbabwe – Reg. No. 10057/1998
– Tel-One Private Limited – Reg. No. 4658/2000
– Arda Seeds (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 21896/2007
– Zimbabwe Power Company (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 6951/1996
– Powertel Communications (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 5818/1999
– Allied Timbers (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 3964/2000
– Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 360/1995
– Air Zimbabwe Private Limited – Reg. No. 10852/1997
– Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe
– Cottco Holdings Limited – Reg. No. 20924/2008
– AFC Limited – Reg. No. 3339/2021
– Hwange Colliery Company Limited – Reg. No. 381/1954
– National Railways of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited – Reg. No. 10057/1998

The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe has been renamed the Mutapa Investment Fund through substantial amendments to the relevant Act. Key features include the allocation of funds towards fulfilling the Fund’s objectives and the ability to invest surplus funds. Shares held by the government in listed companies will become part of the Fund’s initial capital. The Fund is authorized to transfer various funds in and out of Zimbabwe. However, tax obligations must be fulfilled before any transfers take place. In exceptional cases of financial difficulties, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe may impose temporary restrictions on Fund-related payments or transfers on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.

The Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF) has controversial privileges, including the ability to move foreign currency out of Zimbabwe, raising concerns about transparency and accountability. Critics argue that President Mnangagwa bypassed parliamentary powers and failed to involve necessary debate. They also highlight the government’s lack of understanding regarding the role of a sovereign wealth fund in diversifying the economy. Concerns exist about the profitability of state-owned enterprises transferred to the MIF and the need for economic reforms. The government’s use of statutory instruments without parliamentary involvement is criticized for undermining democratic processes and transparency.

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