Mutapa Investment Fund

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The Mutapa Investment Fund, (formerly the Sovereign Wealth Fund) is a Zimbabwean sovereign wealth fund. It was established by an act of parliament in 2014 called Sovereign Wealth Fund Act (Chapter 22:20).

In September 2023 it was renamed to Mutapa Investment Fund to through Statutory Instrument 156 of 2023, by President Emmerson Mnangagwa using the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures Act).

Leadership Structure

The Mutapa Investment Fund board has the following members, announced on 6 November 2023: Chipo Mtasa - (chairperson), Lesley Ndlovu (deputy chairperson), Thembelihle Khumalo, Farai Mtamangira, Bart Mswaka, Charity Jinya, and Prassad Bhamre.


The origins of our sovereign wealth fund are from a mining sector policy study conducted in 2012 that recommended the establishment of the fund to drive long-term investment leveraging on mining, natural and other resources that would anchor inclusive economic growth and development. The SWF was formed in by Parliament 2014. The stated purpose of the fund was to make secure investments for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Zimbabweans, to support the development objectives of the government including its long-term economic and social development, to support fiscal or macro-economic stabilisation and to supplement government revenue. The fund became inactive.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe was a financial entity established by the government of Zimbabwe to manage and invest surplus funds generated from the country’s natural resources, such as minerals and commodities. Its primary objective is to preserve and grow national wealth for the benefit of current and future generations. The fund was designed to diversify Zimbabwe’s economy, promote sustainable development, and provide a buffer for economic shocks. It typically invests in a range of assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and infrastructure projects, both domestically and internationally.

The original Sovereign Wealth Fund was designed to build up a portfolio of State-owned investments for the benefit of future generations. These could be in companies owned entirely by the State, or in joint ventures with outside or private shareholders.

Because sovereign wealth funds are created ostensibly to secure investments and safeguard natural resources for the benefit of future generations citizens, their conduct and operation call for greater scrutiny and the creation of strong checks and balances to ensure sound corporate governance and avoid fund mismanagement, looting and abuse.

Change Process

The Government shareholding in a large block, with assets worth billions of dollars, of 20 State-owned companies was transferred to the Mutapa Investment Fund, the upgraded and renamed Sovereign Wealth Fund. This block will be overseen by the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion, with a board of 10 members.

  • The board consists of the top two staff, the chief executive and the chief investment officer, plus eight other members, including the chairperson, appointed by the President after consulting the Finance Minister.
  • Members need to be people of recognised integrity, have proven competence in finance, investment, economics, business management or law, and represent the diversity of the peoples and communities of Zimbabwe. The board also has to be gender balanced.
  • Members of Parliament cannot sit on the board given their oversight role, and neither can those with criminal records. Half the board need to be men and half women, with the chairperson and deputy chairperson of different genders. [1] [2]

No official reasons have been given for the renaming of the fund.

ZAWYA Points out:

Substantial amendments were made to the to the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 22:20] to repeal that Act and substitute it with the Mutapa Investment Fund.

Some highlights and key features of the amendment.
Under section 11:

  • (2) The Board shall apply the monies of the Fund to the fulfilment of the Fund’s objects.
  • (3) Moneys of the Fund not immediately required to fulfil the Fund’s objects may be invested in such a manner as the Board considers appropriate.
  • (4) The shares held by the Government of Zimbabwe (whether in the name of the Government or on its behalf by any named Minister or Ministry) in the companies listed in the Fourth Schedule shall on the date of commencement of these regulations vest in and form part of the initial capital of the Fund without any transfer, conveyance or other instrument:
  • (5) No later than twenty-one days after the commencement of these regulations, the directors, corporate secretaries or transfer secretaries, as the case may be, of the companies listed in the Fourth Schedule, shall—

(a) effect the necessary changes to the appropriate share registers to reflect that the Fund is the holder of the shares in question; and
(b) deliver to the Chief Executive Officer the appropriate share certificates issued in the name of the Mutapa Investment Fund: Provided that the failure to comply with this subsection shall not be a ground for impeaching the title of the Fund to the shares in question.

  • (6) The President may, for the sake of public information, and after consulting the Board, by notice in a statutory instrument amend the Fourth Schedule by adding, deleting or substituting any assets therein, or may replace the Schedule entirely.

Under section 12:

  • 20A Transfer of funds
  • (1) With respect to investments made under this Act, the Fund may without restriction or delay in a freely convertible currency transfer the following funds into and out of Zimbabwe—

(a) contributions to capital, such as principal and additional funds to maintain, develop or increase its investment; and
(b) proceeds, profits from the assets, dividends, royalties, patent fees, licence fees, technical assistance and management fees, shares and other current income resulting from any investment of the Fund under this Act; and
(c) proceeds from the sale or liquidation of the whole or part of an investment or property owned by the Fund; and
(d) payments made under a contract entered into by the Fund, including payments made pursuant to a loan agreement; and
(e) earnings and other remuneration of foreign personnel legally employed in Zimbabwe by the Fund or in connection with an investment of the Fund.

  • (2) Any transfer of funds shall be allowed only after paying all tax obligations imposed on the amount to be transferred in accordance with the stipulated tax laws.
  • (3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), in the event of serious balance of payments or external financial difficulties, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe may temporarily restrict payments or transfers related to the Fund, provided that such restrictions are imposed on a non-discriminatory and good faith basis.


Before the amendment, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Board had an obligation to make quarterly reports to the minister of finance who was equally obliged to table the fund’s reports before parliament. However, SI 156/2003 has taken away the obligation to table the board’s reports before parliament.

Mutapa Wealth Fund

Mutapa Investment Fund is a Sovereign Wealth Fund located in Harare Zimbabwe and was founded in 2015. Current (Sept 2023) Assets for Mutapa Investment Fund is $97,500,000. [4]

The shares held by the Government of Zimbabwe (whether in the name of the Government or on its behalf by any named Minister or Ministry) in the 20 listed companies became vested in Mutapa Investment Fund and form part of the initial capital of the fund without any transfer, conveyance or other instrument, reads the regulations. Within 21 days, the shareholder register of the 20 concerns will need to show the change, and the 20 entities will need to deliver to the fund’s chief executive officer the appropriate share certificates issued in the name of the Mutapa Investment Fund. The Fund has been found to be necessary in any economy as a way of ensuring inter-generational equity such that current wealth can be passed on to future generations.
It will become more handy given the country’s endowment with its natural resources such as gas, lithium, gold among others. The Fund will also be used as a way to create the Government balance sheet to put value to State assets. [5]

Key features include the allocation of funds towards fulfilling the Fund’s objectives and the ability to invest surplus funds. Shares held by the government in listed companies would become part of the Fund’s initial capital. The Fund is authorized to transfer various funds in and out of Zimbabwe. However, tax obligations must be fulfilled before any transfers take place. In exceptional cases of financial difficulties, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe may impose temporary restrictions on Fund-related payments or transfers on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.

The Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF) has controversial privileges, including the ability to move foreign currency out of Zimbabwe, (see the Gold Mafia) raising concerns about transparency and accountability. Critics argue that President Mnangagwa bypassed parliamentary powers and failed to involve necessary debate. They also highlight the government’s lack of understanding regarding the role of a sovereign wealth fund in diversifying the economy. Concerns exist about the profitability of state-owned enterprises transferred to the MIF and the need for economic reforms. The government’s use of statutory instruments without parliamentary involvement is criticized for undermining democratic processes and transparency. [6]

The Vesting of Shares of these Companies in the Mutapa Investment Fund was stated under the Fourth Schedule (Section 14 (4)). The companies are:

Subsequent Events

The Mutapa Investment Fund has been exempted from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act in Zimbabwe. This means that the companies under the fund, are no longer required to follow the procurement procedures outlined by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe when acquiring goods and services. This was announced in General Notice 1546 of 2023, published in a government gazette on 29 September 2023. [7]

The Central Govermnment, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion permanent secretary George Guvamatanga, on 3 October, said Mutapa Fund companies are not exempt from to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (PPDPA). In terms of the law, the exemption applies to the fund and not any other entities listed. Guvamatanga also said the fund is wholly owned by the Government and it (the Government) is the beneficiary of the fund. [8]


Independent Parastatal Empire

It is believed the Mutapa Fund allows Emmerson Mnangagwa to build a new empire of parastatals away from the influence of his Ministers. For Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, this is what he has been craving for over the past three years. [9]


A blog on X (former Twitter) by “Rufaro” believes that with the history of government-run businesses in Zimbabwe (long and well-documented litany of appalling losses & debt) these businesses are merely receiving a new layer of additional administrative burden and cost. The companies should be privatised or liquidated. S.I. 156 of 2023 is creating a behemoth, bleeding the fiscus, and should be called the Sovereign Impoverishment Fund. Only a fully throttled embrace of free market capitalism can create enough wealth to eradicate poverty in Zimbabwe. [10]

Looting Machine

One opinion identifies the fund as a looting machine.

Investopeia defines a sovereign wealth fund as a State-owned investment fund comprised of money generated by the government, often derived from a country’s surplus reserves. SWFs provide a benefit for a country’s economy and its citizens.
Investopeia defines an investment fund as, A supply of capital belonging to numerous investors used to collectively purchase securities while each investor retains ownership and control of his own shares.
The opinion notes that of all the companies in the fund, only Kuvimba Mining House (KMH), at present, has been declaring dividends and the rest were on the table for partial privatisation. Most of the companies are technically insolvent and still limp because they are State-owned. So the source of money for Mutapa Investment fund is hard to see.

So one speculation to find a reason for this action might be that President Mnangagwa wanted to bring all State-owned enterprises under the stewardship of his son, Kudakwashe, recently appointed deputy Czar at Treasury. It is clear in the SI that the fund will be under the Finance and Investment Promotion ministry. The ministry now has the primary duty to invest State resources as it deems fit and is only answerable to the President. It is telling that clause 10 of the SI says: The fund shall no later than sixty (60) days after the end of each financial year submit to the President and the Minister an annual report on its operations and activities during the preceding financial year. Please note, the law does not say tabled in Parliament (nominally, the structure where every citizen is represented by an MP).

It further notes that the two principal officers of the fund, board chairman and chief executive officer, are appointed by the President after consultation with the Finance minister. Clause 12 of the SI amends section 20 of the principal Act and allows the Fund to freely move money in and out of Zimbabwe, even from proceeds of selling some of the companies under the control of the Fund. It read: With respect to investments made under this Act, the fund may without restriction or delay in a freely convertible currency transfer the following funds — proceeds from the sale or liquidation of the whole or part of an investment or property owned by the Fund.

It is now clear, Mnangagwa’s target is to control the privatisation of State-owned enterprises away from the public eye, but under the watchful gaze of his son. [11]


One opinion is that the move is brilliant.

The President of Zimbabwe has just issued a brilliant executive order to place all government shareholdings, assets, profits, capital and investments of select State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and companies under the management of a professionally run #MutapaInvestmentFund or the Zimbabwe Sovereign Wealth Fund.

By doing so, the President has effectively shifted control of critical Zimbabwean parastatals and the national sovereign wealth fund, away from political principles and civil servants to a professionally managed investment company led by financial experts, and many bureaucrats are not happy because it reduces their chances to loot.

The sovereign wealth fund is now a private trust, holding Zimbabwean public company shares, profits, revenues and capital on behalf of the Zimbabwean people. Consequently, any sanctions or restrictions on the government and its companies no longer apply to the former parastatals which are now controlled by the fund.

These companies are technically not the property of the government of Zimbabwe but rather the property of a private fund belonging to the Zimbabwean people.

So now, if the US government wishes to impose sanctions on these companies, they would need to issue new sanctions targeting the sovereign wealth fund of the Zimbabwean people. This approach is indeed ingenious.

However, having celebrated such a brilliant idea for its advantages, we must also ensure that there is adequate oversight over the fund, to ensure that it is not used to Zambianize Zimbabwe by privatizing Zimbabwean national assets and parastatals as the Zambians did. Such privatization eroded the Zambian balance sheet and national sovereignty, leaving that government broke and now it perpetually has to carry a begging bowl to the west and east, because it has no balance sheet to leverage for its development or to amortize its debts.



Another opinion says it is a fiasco.

President Mnangagwa’s use of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures Act) to rename the Sovereign Wealth Fund to Mutapa Investment Fund and to transfer shareholding of 20 state-owned companies was done without the involvement of Parliament and therefore exposes the entities to looting.

The article lists comments from Tendai Biti, Nigel Chanakira, Tony Hawkins, Gift Mugano, Welshman Ncube and Victor Nyoni. They have criticized the move as:

  • outside the President’s power’s’
  • enabling the movement outside the country of foreign currency without oversight’ (allows money-laundering),
  • based on misinformation that Zimbabwe has a budget surplus when public debt had increasing to $144 trillion’, “The inclusion of loss-making parastatals is just one more attempt to hide public finances from parliamentary scrutiny and pretend the national budget is in surplus when it is not,”
  • usurping state assets and taking them from the state, because the government owns these parastatals and now Mutapa Investment Fund now owns them temporarily - particularly the government which does not have a clean record of transactions,
  • government has never understood the role of a sovereign wealth fund - to use domestic surpluses from extractive industries like mining, which are depleting national wealth to diversify the economy. Away from dependence on a handful of mineral exports and tobacco. [13]

Not Accountable

This opinion outlines the fund history, the purpose of a sovereign wealth fund, and the effects of renaming the fund and placing it under new management and conditions.

It then details:

  • Mnangagwa’s unfettered power to appoint fund board - The lack of independence of the fund and the limited (if non-existent) checks and balances on an already powerful executive head increase the potential for looting and abuse of state resources.
  • No more reporting to parliament - SI 156/2003 has taken away the obligation to table the board’s reports before parliament. The board only tables reports to the president and the minister of finance.
  • Government shares in key companies now removed to Mutapa Fund - The shares held by the government in a number of gazetted companies now vest in the Mutapa Fund.
  • Employees of the fund sworn to secrecy - SI 156/2003 prohibits members, employees or agents of the fund from disclosing any information relating to the affairs of the fund.
  • Free and unrestricted transfer and externalisation of foreign currency - SI 156/2003 allows the fund to transfer forex pertaining to investments made by the fund into and out of Zimbabwe without restriction or delay.
  • Unconstitutionality – A feature of concern with the recent ‘amendment’ is that it is unconstitutional in a number of respects.
  • Lack of transparency - SI 156 of 2023 violates the constitutional principles of public financial management enshrined in section 298 of the constitution. Section 298 states that in all aspects of public finance, of which the management and conduct of a state-owned and controlled fund is one, there must be transparency and accountability.

The change leads to the observation this may be another looting gimmick. The “Mutapa Mafia” appointed by one person with no oversight. In Zimbabwe, a country reeling under 49 percent extreme poverty, triple digit hyperinflation and an annual loss of US$2,2 billion to illicit financial flows cannot afford for its resources to bleed further. [14]

Further Reading

See Gold Mafia.

  1. New Mutapa fund takes over shares in 20 entities, The Herald, Published: 22 September 2023, Retrieved: 28 September 2023
  2. Zimbabwe’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Rebranded to Mutapa Investment Fund, bnn, Published: September 2023, Retrieved: 29 September 2023
  3. [ttps:// Sovereign wealth fund of Zimbabwe renamed ‘Mutapa investment fund’], ZAWYA, Published: 21 September 2023, Retrieved: 29 September 2023
  4. Mutapa Investment Fund (Mutapa Investment Fund), SWFInstitute, Retrieved: 29 September 2023
  5. New Mutapa fund takes over shares in 20 entities, Pindula, Published: 22 September 2023, Retrieved: 28 September 2023
  6. 6.0 6.1 President Mnangagwa Rename Sovereign Wealth Fund As Mutapa Investment Fund, Pindula, Published: 24 September 2023, Retrieved: 28 September 2023
  7. President Mnangagwa Has Exempted Mutapa Investment Fund Companies From Public Procurement Procedures, Pindula, Published: 30 September 2023, Retrieved: 3 October 2023
  8. Companies Under Mutapa Investment Fund Not Exempted From Public Procurement Laws - Guvamatanga, Pindula, Published: 2 October 2023, Retrieved: 4 October 2023
  9. Mutapa: ED’s new parastatal empire, newZWire, Published: 26 September 2023, Retrieved: 28 September 2023
  10. Rufaro on X, X (Twitter), Published: 21 September 2023, Retrieved: 28 September 2023
  11. Mutapa Fund: The looting machine, Pindula, Published: 23 September 2023, Retrieved: 29 September 2023
  12. Mutapa Investment Fund - Protecting The Nation’s Wealth., IAmRutendo, Published: 25 September 2023, Retrieved: 29 September 2023
  13. Mnangagwa’s Mutapa fiasco raises eyebrows, Zimbabwe Situation, Published: 24 September 2023, Retrieved: 29 September 2023
  14. Mutapa Investment Fund: a vehicle for looting without scrutiny, Zimlive, Published: 2 October 2023, Retrieved: 3 October 2023

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