I wonder… As Old Mutual prides itself at being in business for 167 years, have they ever issued an official statement to justify how they flourished throughout years of colonial oppression in Africa and more recently through apartheid in South Africa. In Zimbabwe, Old Mutual always takes the position that all their actions and policies are in the interests of “poor old ladies who depended on pension payouts” yet take a very hostile stance towards tenants in their properties who are struggling to survive in an extremely harsh economic climate. Do “poor old ladies” benefit from properties lying unoccupied because no-one can afford rentals? Do “poor old ladies” benefit from the apparent conflict of interest where some shops at Eastgate Mall, Harare are leased out to relatives/spouses of Old Mutual executives? (Click HERE to see how pensioneers really feel about Old Mutual)
I guess when an organization is big enough with seemingly unlimited resources it is easy to bully anyone into submission. It’s a popular myth that Old Mutual is too big and powerful to fight legally in Zimbabwe.
Wait a Minute!!! Wait a Minute!!! Wait a Minute!!!
Is it true on not that Old Mutual was established and grew immensely in African countries that practiced apartheid and racist colonial oppression of indigenous peoples without ever making any apologies for their success???
Is it true or not that in Zimbabwe Old Mutual has a several major law firms on its books that cite conflict of interest when presented with a case against them???
Is it true or not that considering the size and wealth of this publicly traded company, their endowment and administration of the youth empowerment fund leaves a lot to be desired???
Is it true or not that Old Mutual is taking the legal position that they never turned off power to tenants’ premises when there is irrefutable evidence that the did so??? If you willfully distort the truth then YOU ARE a liar!
These are the truths that this site aims to expose. Instead of Old Mutual facing up to the truth and doing the right thing, they have instead engaged lawyers to cite usage of their logo on this site as copyright infringement in an effort to shut us down.
Yes, the biggest issue they have with this site is their precious brand mark. That’s akin to a physically abusive school-yard bully reporting to the principal that his victims are calling him names!
It is important for stakeholders to realize that this site and its contents will exist on the Internet in one form or another. All the “party tricks” any of these top-dollar attorneys come up with will not silence the truth!
And now for a lesson in Corporate Governance Ethics and Principles (Old Mutual style):
Maybe Old Mutual itself believes its own hype. Why else would their executive always respond to any tenant grievances with a dare to seek legal advice???
When an unscrupulous wealthy man wants to divorce his wife without having to settle with her fairly he can use his resources to engage the services of all prominent divorce attorneys. He will have no intention of using all of them for the case but he is guaranteed that when his wife seeks legal advice all these attorneys will site conflict of interest as a reason not to assist. This practice is not illegal and may not even be unethical but it is kind of sleazy. It's interesting that the major law firms in Zimbabwe such as Scanlen & Holderness, Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans, Wintertons, Costa & Madzonga etc. will not entertain any legal queiries against Old Mutual citing conflict of interest...
Zimbabwe and its leadership are commited to righting the wrongs of colonial rule an and the empowerment programs offer the best evidence of this commitment. Foreign firms that enjoy the benefits of operating here have also have to show the same commitment. The video below illustrates some of the hypocrisy of Old Mutual
Old Mutual also responded to the government’s call for meaningful empowerment by introducing a youth fund that is meant to fund business projects by Zimbabwe youths. How much of this funding has actually benefited the youth? The same Zimbabwe youths that lost their livelyhoods when several Old Mutual properties lay vacant because business could not afford rents. For quite some time Old Mutual would rather have no tenants at Westgate, Highglen and the Chitungwiza complex than make rentals affordable enough for businesses to operate.
This youth fund appears to be a way of hoodwinking the government into believing Old Mutual has a real commitment to economic equality for indigenous Zimbabweans. They even had senior leadership officiate the launching of the find. Its reminiscent of British Lieutenant Francis Farewell handing over trinkets like music boxes to Shaka Zulu while raping the country of its resources.
Right now it is tempting for Old Mutual to think that they can just bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich and all this attention on their practises will just go away. They couldn't be more wrong. There are others that have also noticed the festering rot within their corporate policies and this site shall be the chosen platform to lay everything bare. At the very least, any nation that allows this corporation to operate within its borders and investors who part with their hard earned dollars worldwide will have a clearer picture of who they are in bed with. The link below points to a recent article concerning the administration of the youth fund:
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
A tenant at Eastgate, Harare has leveled allegations against Old Mutual for the destruction of the business by turning off power to their shop. Old Mutual’s defense is that they never turned power off. The video below shows otherwise:
When approached by a tenant seeking a resolution for settling outstanding rent payments, Old Mutual managing director, Zomunoda Chizura advised the tenant to “shut down his current business and seek employment elsewhere”.
And when another tenant approached Esatgate Portfolio Manager, Agnes Murape to propose a payment plan to settle outstanding rents she was told to vacate her shop and try getting a place “downtown” (a rundown area of Harare) because she obviously couldn’t afford Old Mutual rentals.
Who assigned Old Mutual employees as tenant’s business consultants? What give them the nerve to dictate how tenants should conduct business. I guess owing makes one subservient to the creditor.
Maybe this corporate culture is to be expected of a company that was established and has operated for over a century and enjoyed vast profits in a country that until recently did not recognize it’s indigenous inhabitants as actual human beings. Now that it’s Zimbabwean branch is run by a predominantly black directorate, I guess Old Mutual can divert attention from it’s racist colonial past. And just like the colonial “Majoni” policemen of colonial Zimbabwe, the directorate is happy to don its master’s uniform and do his bidding.
Those sitting at the helm of an organization are ultimately responsible for crafting and implementing corporate culture. If the corporate culture of an organization is that of tyrannical practices and basic lack of respect for human dignity then either the directorate endorses that culture or are clueless of their employees conduct. Which is it for Old Mutual? In addition to monetary return on investments, shareholders need to also apply a moral compass to their investment decision-making processes.