NIEEB headhunted Brainworks

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Brainworks Capital was appointed to provide consultancy services to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board in a billion-dollar indigenisation project without going to tender, Parliament heard yesterday.

NIEEB chief executive officer Mr Wilson Gwatiringa revealed this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Zanu-PF legislator for Gokwe-Nembudziya Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena.

Brainworks was contracted by NIEEB to provide advisory services on the indigenisation of various mining giants among them Zimplats, Unki, Mimosa and Blanket Mine.

The consultancy firm charged up to two percent of the total share value which could have seen it paid millions of dollars if its advice had been taken on board.

Mr Gwatiringa said NIEEB engaged a number of firms through a tender process to provide advisory services in 2011, but the contracted advisors failed to do the job during negotiations as they appeared to be on the side of Zimplats.

He said instead of the financial advisors insisting on equity shareholding they took the position of the platinum mining giants that they should disregard the value of the deposits, a development that was contrary to Government and President Mugabe’s position.

“On 14 May, 2012, we met Mr George Manyere, the chief executive officer of Brainworks Capital at our parent ministry and discussed their ability to render valuations and financial advisory services,” said Mr Gwatiringa.

“Their track record in terms of transactions executed convinced us that they could do the job and we started negotiating with them with a view to engaging them on the same terms as the other firms.”

But Cde Wadyajena asked if Brainworks Capital had been subjected to a tender process as required by the law.

Mr Gwatiringa said they had not gone through a tender process.

“What he has told us is that Brainworks Capital was head-hunted by NIEEB without going to tender, so we can safely say the law was broken,” said Cde Wadyajena.

Mr Gwatiringa said they worked as a team in contracting Brainworks Capital. Zanu-PF MP Cde Melody Dziva asked how NIEEB got to know about Brainworks Capital considering that they did not come through a tender process.

Mr Gwatiringa said they knew about the firm when they applied to have their own indigenisation plans approved.

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