By Staff Reporter
At the heart of ructions in the ruling party in Zimbabwe is a battle to control the country’s fuel supplies, according to Africa Confidential.
In a latest article released November 9, the publication claimed there was a split between the southern African country’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his two vice presidents.
‘’A split at the top of the ruling party between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his two vice-presidents – Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi – is manifesting itself in a vicious fight for control of the country’s oil sector,’’ claimed Africa Confidential. ‘’The President is believed to fear that Chiwenga intends to oust him from power. The military-backed owner of Sakunda Holdings, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, is believed to have upset Mnangagwa and his allies, who are now trying to loosen his grip on the fuel supply and distribution business, which is backed by the Dutch-headquartered global commodities firm Trafigura.’’
According to the article, Mnangagwa’s allies were briefing that Tagwirei had ‘captured’ the state and its institutions.
The articled further claimed that before the current row Tagwirei was considered a pillar of the regime. ‘’Without implicating the army, the former war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, a special advisor to Mnangagwa, said that Tagwirei was dividing the presidium, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s leadership body,”the article stated.
‘’He claimed Tagwirei was getting preference ahead of other players in allocations of foreign currency, ranging between $80 million and $90m a month, from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).’’
The article also suggested that the crusade against Tagwirei was meant ‘to stop the flow of cash to the military’, quoting sources.
‘’That involves breaking Trafigura’s monopoly on the fuel pipeline running from Beira in Mozambique and disbanding the Command Agriculture programme, first bankrolled by Trafigura to the tune of $192m in 2017. Command Agriculture has since relied heavily on government funding, but is thought to have become a conduit for looting by senior regime figures. It is run by Tagwirei and the military.’’
The article stated that Trafigura controlled most bof the petroleum industry in Zimbabwe, hence the discontent from some citizens.
‘’Through exclusive agreements, Trafigura controls the Feruka pipeline, which connects its important storage facilities in Beira to Harare. This has enabled the company to push its product to Malawi, Zambia and Botswana,’’ stated Africa Confidential.
‘’Zimbabwe’s Competition and Tariff Commission approved Trafigura’s acquisition of Sakunda Energy on condition that it allows other fuel importers to use the Feruka pipeline. However, industry players say that other companies have been put off the installation by Trafigura’s ‘punitive charges’ and use road transport instead.’’