• No subscriptions to join new empowerment group
AT LEAST 90 percent of Affirmative Action Group (AAG) including incumbent president Scott Sakupwanya have defected to the newly launched Economic Empowerment Group (EEG) which has been endorsed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
AAG had amassed around 500 members in each of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces but members defected en masse over alleged autocratic rule of Philip Chiyangwa.
Matters spilled over the edge in the AAG in March when Chiyangwa dissolved the executive and fired Mike Chimombe, replacing him with Scott Sakupwanya.
Curiously, Sakupwanya held a closed door meeting with the new EEG executive on Thursday afternoon to strengthen alliances after EEG’s official launch, Zim Morning Post was told.
“Nothing remains of AAG except for Chiyangwa and a few of his cronies,” an EEG member said, declining to be named fearing reprisal.
The new lobby group, launched in Harare on Thursday, vowed that it would be more inclusive of diverse groups than the empowerment group from which it emerged.
“There will not be any subscriptions to join EEG. Why do you need to pay money to be empowered?” questioned vice president Munyaradzi Kashambe during a press conference.
“When we had our last presser here, when we accepted that we had been sacked from AAG, we realized that we had a duty carry on.
“Our president Mike Chimombe reiterated that we have to come up with our own economic empowerment group and I am happy to introduce EEG,” Kashambe added.
“This is new baby. It is constitutionally guided and we have a concept paper as to how we will be operating. We will hand our blue print to the highest office in the land.”
EEG president Mike Chimombe said the new lobby group will be swift in pushing for an economic environment that favours indigenous black business people.
He added that the new outfit is “people centered.”
“EEG is going to be very radical in pushing for economic empowerment policies,” said Chimombe.
Kashambe added: “We have mining policies, ICT, Tourism, all these were revised into an indigenization policy which stipulates that no foreigner can come into Zimbabwe and cook sadza or go into retail but we see foreigners coming in and cooking sadza.”
AAG plunged into leadership chaos following the dismissal of its former President Chimombe and the appointment of Sakupwanya by the association’s founding President Philip Chiyangwa without notifying the two of the developments.
EEG members said the new group was not formed in retaliation of the dismissals but was born out of a need for a more inclusive empowerment lobby group.