Zimbabwean businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, founder of the Affirmative Action Group, said Wednesday that he has fired AAG President Supa Mandiwanzira and the rest of the organization's executive, alleging mismanagement on their part.
Chiyangwa said he has appointed a committee led by Tendai Savanhu, founding secretary general of the organization, to investigate allegations that Mandiwanzira and others misappropriated US$33,000 and were not working well with members.
Chiyangwa said the organization's charter gives him the right to remove management.
“The AAG is Chiyangwa and Chiyangwa is the AAG and therefore I can do anything that I want in that organization," he declared in an interview.
Sources said the Mandiwanzira executive fell out of favor as it was blocking members of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party from using the organization as a vehicle to take control of foreign-owned mining firms under the guise of indigenization.
They said the Mandiwanzira group had teamed up with Mines Minister Obert Mpofu to block the use of AAG for mining company takeovers. They said this angered Chiyangwa, who is said to have been seeking a stake in some targeted firms in the sector.
Chiyangwa told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu the firing of the Mandiwanzira executive had nothing to do his efforts to secure mining company stakes under the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act which says foreign-owned companies must place a controlling 51 percent stake in the hands of black Zimbabwean investors.
Mandiwanzira said he was the victim of a power grab. “As far as I am concerned we were working well with everyone and there is no money that is missing in the AAG since we never received donations from anyone,” Mandiwanzira said.
AAG co-founder Matson Hlalo told reporter Gibbs Dube that the organization is now full of people who want to enrich themselves by seizing company shares.