The fruits of indigenisation

So there’s this “prominent businessman and farmer” with what appears to be a chequered history, rife with allegations of smuggling and fraud, theft, arrests and trials and convictions and even disappearing witnesses.

Going back as far as 2004, Cecil Muderede has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, being put to trial for various economic crimes, being accused of fleecing the GMB of billions of dollars, being accused of smuggling basic commodities, threatening government officials … lots of shit.

Mr Muderede, having survived the trials and tribulations of his brush with the law, managed to make himself a bucketload of money, and decided to spend it wisely.

So last year he bought Jaggers, once one of the leading distributors of fast-moving consumer goods.

Muderede gained a controlling equity of the wholesale giant after buying out the previous major shareholder, Metcash Africa, a South African company, through his investment vehicle Borlscade Investment (Pvt) Ltd.

Today, Jaggers went under.

Ruby Auctions will Thursday officially wind up Jaggers Wholesalers’ business with a stock clearance auction after it successfully held the first one last week where furniture and other household goods were sold.

So this is indiginesation a la ZANU-PF? This guy took over a profitable entity which was paying its workers, had housing schemes and more, and ran it into the ground. Nice work, dude.

Just like we did with the farms, taking over a thriving industry and burning it into ashes, we shall do with the companies, and reduce what’s left of our workforce to thieves and paupers.

Where are the champions of indigenisation in all this? Not a peep from Supa, Saviour and Chapfika while this former giant of Zimbabwe retail goes under.

Who’s next?

9 Replies to “The fruits of indigenisation”

  1. Unfortunately until we stop eyeing other peoples successes without learning how to duplicate them effectively, the question will be who’s next. We want the cash but dont appreciate the expertise and hardwork that goes into making successful ventures what they are.

    The saddest part is that even if someone came and tried to revive Jaggers to its winning ways, the likes of Mr. Muderede will be there to “reclaim” what is rightfully theirs. Noone will learn from this – Something in this model has got to change…

  2. Zim has genuine hardworking enterpreneurs,
    I know a few,
    I’ve seen them do their thing,
    White, Black, Coloured, Indian,
    There are of course ‘these’ high profile people,
    Who hog the limelight because of their pretensions and ‘Big Meech’ spending and all round idiocy,
    ‘We’ tend to think this is what the black enterpreneur is all about,
    Just like we tend to think the successful white enterpreneur is typical of all white enterpreneurs,
    And do not notice the spectacular business failure rate within this group too,

    Guess what im trying to say is,
    This dude is a particular failure,
    Yes, like many others of his kind,
    He is by no means representative of black enterpreneurs in Zim.

  3. I mean, yeah there are a few caveats, like it’s not the same as farm takeovers by ginya, according to all reports this guy bought his stake in Jaggers.

    Also, Jaggers was having problems already, they’d closed down 11 of their 52 branches nationwide, but every company had issues at the same time, the whole country was going through the same shit.

    Jaggers was a wholesale giant, and with USD people were buying and are buying shit. How can you fail to run a network of fucking shops?

  4. I am sorry – I support you on having failures all round but I do not support people taking businesses (struggling or successful) and stripping them for all their worth which seems to be the norm with a lot of these companies.

    Show me entrepreneurs with valid experience trying to make a go at it and giving it their all and I will make sympathetic sounds when the business fails. However all too often what we see is just plain greed and that I cannot support.

  5. Flagging this story as an example of bad entrepreneurship is simply not apt. Its not even an example of how bad indigenisation is. The truth is that this businessman bought Jaggers in an open market but unfortunately things went pear shaped for whatever reason. What is of significant is that there has been no political meddling and creditors owed money have been able to claim assets all within the rule of law.

    This businessman is not my favourite but his unfortunate run in this venture is just that; unfortunate. Indeed if he was savvy things could be different, but in economics losses and profits are simply indicators of market adjustments. And we should admire a man who takes his losses in stride. We have StarAfrica another retailer close its doors. So he is not alone. The reality with a dollar economy is that Zim gets to experience world reality of losses and profits unlike erstwhile madness of super profits and never losses. We should judge according to how we deal with the losses.

    AfricanSun is loss making, shall society look at Munyeza in the same way they looked at Muderede?

  6. Oh no! Not Jaggers. They had one of the coolest jingles of the 90s. Though, I’ve totally forgotten it now. Louise Theroux, a couple of years ago, did a documentary in South Africa about how the game was being hunted into extinction. In it, there was this frustrated gamekeeper (or whatever they’re called) who said: “In Africa, we chop down everything and we eat everything”.

    He was talking about the indiscriminate chopping down of trees and how people were killing any, and all, of the animals for food. But he could just as easily been been talking about how we govern ourselves and run stuff.

  7. Jaggers lost sight of its core business model. Tried to compete with its own customers, instead of sticking to what it knew best– wholesaling. It’s sad that a former business giant went done in flames, and probably didn’t help that it had this guy as CEO.

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