A report claims that the alleged tension between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga has its genesis in the former’s plans to install a second pipeline to supply petroleum into the country and the control of the lucrative fuel industry in the country.
Industry insiders and government officials allege that Mnangagwa has interests in the fuel industry through Zuva Petroleum. He is also said to be in favour of a second pipeline to the country, supposedly backed by SA company Mining Oil & Gas Services (Mogs), which would dismantle the extensive hold that businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei has on the country’s energy sector. Chiwenga is believed to have his own interests through Tagwirei CEO of Sakunda Energy.
An official who spoke to the Financial Mail said
That is the major issue that sparked the tensions, because Tagwirei is being pushed out. When you look at it, there has also been the talk of a second pipeline, but we all know who refurbished [the current pipeline].
Economist John Robertson shred the view that the allocation of scarce foreign currency for fuel importation. Said Robertson
There are some government officials who are benefiting from existing arrangements and want to continue benefiting, and others who want a new arrangement that gives them a chance to benefit. There appears to be a serious conflict for the control of the fuel industry in the ranks of the ruling party.
Bekezela Gumbo, the principal researcher at the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute said that the differences between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga over economic interests may threaten the long-term investment prospects for the country.
It is [said] that Tagwirei is a shadow [for] Chiwenga, essentially being used to secure Chiwenga’s interests — that’s the perception. It means Chiwenga and [Mnangagwa] are clashing economically through these fights to remove control of Tagwirei in the fuel industry.
This effectively means that Zimbabwe’s problems, including the fuel challenges, are a political problem. The problem is at the political apex and it’s affecting decision-making. The leadership is not seeing [eye to eye] … In the long term, it will destabilise the country.
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