REW chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara said attacks on Telecel Zimbabwe for its recent appointment of a US-born Swiss citizen, John Swaim as managing director, were not warranted as many Zimbabweans also occupy top positions in different countries throughout the World.
He said Telecel, through its foreign shareholders, acquired capital and massive telecommunication equipment worth more than US$40 million to roll out a huge base station project nationwide.
Musarara said the exercise would benefit local consumers as competition between networks would result in low tariffs and efficient service.
He said in order for the project to kick-off, the foreign shareholder funding the project had to second their senior personnel to oversee the project on the ground.
“This is a common practice worldwide as investors would be seeking to secure their capital in the foreign market,” said Musarara.
“Zimbabwean companies with operators abroad also send Zimbabweans to head these operations in these foreign countries.”
Musarara’s comments come soon after the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) Chief executive officer Davison Gomo recently said the radical economic empowerment group was opposed to the appointment of Swaim and called on government to deny him a work permit.
He said Chinese investors who were opening businesses in the country were also placing fellow countrymen at the helm of their organisations, but no one was raising any alarm.
“There is no country in the world that does not have expatriates”, Musarara said.
“Even USA is not an exception. There are a lot of Japanese nationals heading Japanese-owned companies in the USA,” he said.
“It will not be trains smash if we have two foreigners appointed for a limited time to unlock significant value given that the rest of the management are black Zimbabweans.
“This will enable us to achieve desperately needed capital injection in the company and the requisite technological transfer into the country.”
Musarara was the secretary-general of the Supa Mandiwanzira-led AAG which resigned a few months ago after a fallout with founder and Harare businessman, Phillip Chiyangwa.
Telecel is chaired by fugitive businessman James Makamba who is in a bitter power struggle with former acting chairperson Jane Mutasa.
Indigenisation law does not bar foreign employees: Musarara
Musarara said there was no provision in the current indigenisation laws that bar the employment of foreigners.
He said Zimbabweans should be careful that certain policies that some people want to advocate for could be disastrous should other countries “return the favour”.
Musarara said Zimbabwe has the highest number per capita in Southern and East Africa of nationals working in the Diaspora, including some who are managing African telecommunications giant, MTN operations in some African countries.
A number of Zimbabweans were also heading Barclays and Standard banking operations in several countries around the continent.