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“I don't discuss my businesses with politicians” – Strive Masiyiwa

Derick Matsengarwodzi    Econet Wireless proprietor, Strive Masiyiwa has vowed not to discuss business with politicians – and more s...

Derick Matsengarwodzi 
Econet Wireless proprietor, Strive Masiyiwa has vowed not to discuss business with politicians – and more so in private settings in a bid to eliminate any possible malpractice.   

This revelation came in his recorded personal experiences with corruption personalities around the globe.

The chilling encounter

“We met in a hotel suite in the country's capital. The minister was much older than I, but we hit it off straight away. He was well-educated, sophisticated and had travelled the world. You’re just the kind of guys we want here. I like the fact that you guys are African.”

At a convenient moment, the government official named his prize in order to facilitate a deal.

“Personally, I don't like having shares. I prefer cash. I think $3 million is okay. I have a good relationship with the President and I’m allowed to run the show completely. I can get it done in a matter of weeks,” mentioned the official of the unnamed country.

The two never met, neither did Masiyiwa return to the state, for years.

 “I was angry with myself. What could I have possibly said in that meeting that could have led that minister to think that I would accept such an indecent proposal?”

Since then, he has changed his approach towards influential characters.

The million-dollar question
 “The first question was much more profound – and led me to change the way I approach my own business dealings and meetings with powerful officials of this kind. I realised that by agreeing to meet him quietly outside his office, I may have signalled to a corrupt man that I had come to do business “his way”. From that day, I was to avoid such meetings, insisting on formal contacts with other officials present.”

The Forbes magazine 20 most powerful African businesspeople in 2011 nominee says he only sticks to broader policy issues.   

“I see lots of Presidents and Ministers but I don't discuss with them my personal business interests anymore. I can discuss broader issues of industry and economic policy. I don't discuss things that are specific to my company or businesses. If I have a complaint related to my business, I prefer to send my officials or to put it in writing.”

Two wrongs never make one right
“Would you go to see President Obama to discuss setting up a business in America? Of course not! Then why the obsession to meet African presidents with our personal business interests? 

The fact that so many people do it does not make it right.”

He warns entrepreneurs to have a clear agenda when meeting politicians.

“This does not mean business leaders should not meet politicians, but we must be careful about why we go, and the perception we create. For economies to boom and people to prosper at all levels, we need consistent, transparent policies that apply fairly to all engaged in enterprise – including state-owned enterprises. We also need vigilant citizens who know what those policies are – and do their part to stop the rot if they see it.” – Tinzwei

• Derick Matsengarwodzi is a communication consultant, author – and founder of The Aloe Media. An ardent researcher plus media devotee – you can interact with him through Facebook or Follow his authoritative, eloquent, analytical and revealing writing flow on: or

Tinzwei Is A Worth Voyage For Those In Pursuit For Up-To-Date World Events.

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