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Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Social Media Ghosts Target Chimuka

Online trolls funded by undisclosed sponsors are launching attacks on indigenous business figures in the construction industry, spreading fabricated narratives to tarnish reputations and impede the nation’s infrastructure progress. Following the announcement by the United States of America of sanctions against eleven individuals and three firms, these anonymous online personas aim to smear the names of influential figures, including Obey Chimuka, CEO of Fossil Group.

This comes as the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa has given key infrastructure projects to local companies as opposed to the old practice where foreign multilaterals dominated the sector.
To derail the country’s ongoing construction boom, some anti-Zimbabwe elements are using the social media, mostly X as they seek to ensure blacks are sidelined in preference to former white construction magnets.

The comments, most of which amount to slander and cyberbullying have prompted lawyers of Chimuka to consider suing the culprits.

Chimuka is a prominent figure in Zimbabwe’s construction industry as his firms have made massive contributions to the infrastructure development matrix of the country.

Informed sources said while some of detractors are foreigners, there are also locals who want to bully the withdrawn and largely unknown Mr Chimuka.
“Have you seen the way
Fossil has been working on Harare roads, its like a machine, in less than a week roads are being dug up, paved and then opened, seems someone in the construction industry is really miffed,” said an observer.

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Despite his significant achievements and reputable standing, Chimuka has found himself ensnared in a web of malicious rumors and baseless accusations propagated through social media channels.

These unfounded claims have not only posed a threat to his personal and professional integrity but also affected his business dealings.

Under the leadership of Chimuka, Fossil Contracting was part of the local companies that participated in the Beitbridge-Harare road rehabilitation much to the delight of Zimbabweans.

Currently, the company is overseeing the construction of Mbudzi Interchange together with other two construction companies under the Tefoma banner.

Mbudzi Interchange is the largest project outside South Africa and the utilization of modern technology has attracted the attention of high technical people.

The project is expected to be complete by July 31 this year according to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Honourable Felix Mhona

Fossil Contracting is also involved in the Harare-Chirundu highway refurbishment with their section starting from Harare main post office to Mapinga.

Besides road infrastructure, Fossil was involved in the construction of 6 million litres ethanol tanks in Msasa under the National Oil Infrastructure Company project as well as the US$ 10 million LPG project in Ruwa.

Chimuka is one of the successful indigenous business people and his astuteness was revealed when his company acquired a controlling stake in the then Lafarge Cement which has been named Khaya cement.

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Companies in the cement production have worked well with the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni to ensure they meet local demand which has seen government discontinuing the issuance of cement import licenses.

Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr Jenfan Muswere told journalists yesterday that the four major cement manufacturers in the country have an installed capacity of 2.6 million metric tonnes per annum, against a national demand of 1.6 million metric tonnes.

“Cabinet notes that the local industry is now producing above optimal levels. The four companies are producing a combined 160 500 metric tonnes per month against the installed capacity of 241 000 metric tonnes per month. Depressed local demand has resulted in the companies stockpiling cement and reducing production. Cabinet advises the nation that there is now adequate cement on the market. Accordingly, the issuance of cement import licences is being discontinued in order to boost demand for local cement,” he said.

With such a huge portfolio,
Chimuka is his own man but the toil of the unjustified sanctions could force him to downsize his companies.

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