President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has appointed the Mutapa Investment board.

Meanwhile, the decision by Mnangagwa to rename the Zimbabwe Sovereign Wealth Fund into Mutapa Investment Fund was described as an astonishing creation of a launchpad for large scale looting of Zimbabwe’s natural resources and economic wealth.

Mnangagwa, on 19 September, through the Statutory Instrument 156 of 2023 (SI 156/2023), invoked his Presidential Powers to temporarily amend the investment laws to rename and upgrade the old Sovereign Wealth Fund and transfer the shares in the 20 State-owned enterprises to the Mutapa Fund.

The President exempted the Mutapa Investment Fund from the provisions of the Procurement Act.

According to critics, this meant that the funds held under the Mutapa Investment Fund can be spent without due procedure and without public scrutiny.

He literally transferred the government shareholding in a large block of 20 State-owned companies to the Mutapa Investment Fund, the upgraded and renamed Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The companies that were placed under the Mutapa Investment Fund include Defold Mine, ZUPCO, Kuvimba, Silo Investments (GMB commercial arm), the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, the Cold Storage Commission, Petrotrade, POSB, Netone Cellular, the National Railways of Zimbabwe Holdings and NRZ Ltd, TelOne, ARDA Seeds, Zimbabwe Power Company, Powertel, Allied Timbers, Telecel Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe, Industrial Development Corporation, Cottco, AFC Limited and Hwange Colliery.

While establishment of the fund aligns with global trends advancing management of capital markets, observers have, however, come out guns-blazing accusing Mnangagwa of unconstitutionally creating a platform for looting by removing any chances of public scrutiny, a critical aspect of good corporate governance.