Our mindset must change, says Mutasa

The Masawara Group founder and chief executive officer said the political changes would not have been possible if those behind them were not disciplined.

Top entrepreneur Shingai Mutasa says Zimbabweans must celebrate the political shift that led to the removal of Robert Mugabe from office seven years ago instead of latching onto the narrative of outsiders that vilifies those behind his ouster.

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for nearly 40 years, was toppled by the military in 2017 and was succeeded by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mutasa, who was the guest speaker at the oversubscribed In Conversation with Trevor (ICWT) Africa Day Gala Dinner last Thursday in Harare, delivered an electrifying speech on what it means to be an African.

The Masawara Group founder and chief executive officer said the political changes would not have been possible if those behind them were not disciplined.

“In 2017, a military intervention took place. Instead of drawing our military on the actions that they undertook, even though all of us were out in the streets, we sought somebody else's narrative,” Mutasa said.

“Rather than truly marvelling at the intelligence, discipline, and clear capacity of our military, the narrative we follow is that of negativity.

“These actions could not have worked out so well without intellectual rigour and discipline.”

He added: “We must glorify this as it shows our capacity. And it's important you understand what I've just said.

“The last section is business. Our minds have to change.

“We have to help our political brothers and sisters to build this region. We are responsible.”

Mutasa urged political parties and the military to recruit and teach young recruits artificial intelligence in a bid to improve national security and strengthen political leadership.

“The next thing is we have got to strengthen our political leadership. Our political parties must learn from this and recruit those young men and women,” he said.

“The long-term strategies to achieve our vision need some of our greatest minds to think through, lead, and implement our future.

“The second one is our military leadership.”

Mutasa hailed the military for allowing its officers to upgrade their studies.

“Interestingly, our military leadership has already embarked over the last 15 to 20 years on making sure that all their senior members went to college,” he said.

“That foresight is one we must respect greatly.

“However, they must now start focusing on recruiting brilliant minds.

“Warfare in the future will not be about sheer numbers, but the capacity to adopt, learn, and utilise artificial intelligence.

“This is critical for the future, and we must encourage them to do so.”

Mutasa said Zimbabwe should improve its infrastructure and economy. He implored business not to take a back seat in the country’s affairs.

“And that is the one weakness that we in business have had. We sit back and watch and look on,” he said.

“But we have a role to play as a business, an incredibly important role and that is as a business.

“We have to work through our universities. We have to build that capacity so that through the universities we will develop products.

“Through the universities, we will create the revenues that allow them to become stronger and better.”

He also urged business to embrace artificial intelligence.

“I believe that the next stage after AI could, and most likely will be delivered by Africans,” Mutasa said.

 Mutasa is among leading business leaders, experts and influencers that have appeared on Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) chairman Ncube’s ICWT, who were part of last week’s event.

ICWT is a weekly podcast that is nearing 10 million lifetime views on YouTube.

Its success gave birth to the Ideas Festival Conference last year, an annual event organised to share and create fresh ideas for nation building.

AMH are publishers of NewsDay, The Standard, and Zimbabwe Independent. The leading multimedia company also owns teleradio Heart & Soul.

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