Aguy Georgias was a Zimbabwean businessman and politician who was a former Senator as well as former Deputy Minister of Economic Development and ZANU PF Central Committee member. He was declared a national hero after his death due to "his dauntless and uncompromising stance against injustice, most notably against our country".[2]

Aguy Georgias
Aguy Clement Georgias
Born Aguy Zvavahera Ushe[1]
June 22, 1935
Chikomba, Chivhu, Mashonaland East
Died December 18, 2015 (aged 80)
Harare
Cause of death Heart and kidney complications
Occupation
  • Businessman
  • Politician
Employer Trinity Engineering
Spouse(s) Lizzy, Manana
Partner(s) Jane
Children Tina Georgias, Russell Karimazondo and 9 other children
Relatives Herbert Ushe (brother)

Contents

Background

Aguy Clement Georgias was born Aguy Zvavahera Ushe on 22 June 1935 in Chivhu, Mashonaland East. Aguy grew up in Unyetu-Mutomba Village before he made the great trek to Harare and assumed a new identity, probably for economic reasons as he would identify with the coloured community and hence have more opportunities availed due to the oppression of blacks during colonial Rhodesia.[1] According to a relative Georgias sired five children with an unnamed Gweru woman of Indian origin before marrying Manana in 1977.[1] He was to later “hook-up with a mistress Jane with whom he had another five children but she already had six children from a previous marriage,” the relative claimed.[1]

Business career

Trinity Engineering

Gaining experience from working on projects like Ferruka Pipeline as a boilermaker and draughtsman, Georgias started Trinity Engineering with just one welding machine and one set of oxygen and acetylene gas bottles, in KweKwe, Zimbabwe’s steel manufacturing hub at the time.[3] He was the founder, CEO and Chairman of Trinity Engineering, a company working in fashion, fabric and engineering business activities.[4] Before sanctions came upon the country, Trinity were exporting trailers as far a field as Kenya.[5]

Political career

Aguy was a member of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front. He served in government as Deputy Minister of Public Works and National Housing as well as Deputy Minister of Economic Development.[6]

Stance against Sanctions

Georgias made several remarks on his stance on sanctions. He argued that the sanctions were target due to the fact that Zimbabwe ruined relations with the outside world by walking out of the Commonwealth. He also stated that although it was true that Zimbabwe could not borrow money from The World Bank, this was not because of sanctions but because the country had not serviced its debt with the institution for close to a decade as of 2003.[7] He also pointed out that the sanctions were targeted because bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and USA had doubled over a period of five years. The senator summed up his argument citing that the sanctions approach was just like the carrot and stick approach, if Zimbabwe did things the proper way it would not be on a collision path with the EU block.

Goergias also fought against the deportation of children from the United Kingdom where they were pursuing their studies. The children were scheduled for deportation on the basis of their father being a ZANU-PF member who had been blacklisted.[8] Although he was reportedly removed from the sanctions list, Georgias noted that for the five years that he was on the list his business interests suffered significantly.[4]

Controversy

HSBC bank account

Around 2007 it was speculated that Aguy Georgias had ties to a bank, HSBC, which had come under fire for facilitating the laundering of money. Georgias was said to have been among the 189 Zimbabweans that had an account with the bank. It was also stated that the account was eventually closed after the balance had reached zero.[9]

POTRAZ board

Aguy was part of the POTRAZ board that was fired in 2015 on allegations of corruption.[10] Georgias was fired together with other board members over issues ranging from gross abuse of financial resources and poor corporate governance. Georgias came out denying the allegations, stating that if he had done anything wrong a report should be made to the police and he arrested.[11]

Telecel Airtime Purchases

In 2011, Aguy Georgias acting on behalf of his company Trinity Engineering, is said to have entered into partnership together with his son born out of wedlock, Russell Karimazondo an his company Maxifix to purchase airtime from Telecel Zimbabwe and resell the said airtime vouchers. To do this Trinity Engineering mortgaged its property and secured a bond allowing Maxifix to take airtime in excess of $600,000. When Maxifix failed to service the loan, the property was registered for transfer into Telecel's name, to which Georgias launched a court appeal stating that he was not a part of this agreement and his signature was forged. Karimazondo allegedly confessed to having forged his father's signature but later re-cantered his statement.[12] Georgias lost the case and at the time of his death had lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court.[13]

Death

On the morning of Friday 18 December 2015, Senator Aguy Georgias, while admitted at AMI Hospital in Harare succumbed to heart and kidney failure. He had not been well, having spent one and a half months seeking medical attention in Cape Town, only to return to Harare and die a week later.[6] He was subsequently declared a national hero, President Mugabe "describing him as a visionary entrepreneur and shrewd businessman who was determined to see justice being delivered to all".[2]




References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 RICHARD CHIDZA, Feud over hero Georgias funeral, Newsday, Published: 22 Dec 2015, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Elita Chikwati, President hails hero Georgias, Herald, Published: 21 Dec 2015, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  3. About Trinity Engineering, Trinity Engineering Website, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 Alex Bell EU policy under fire in ZANU PF led ‘test’ case, Free and Fair Democracy Zimbabwe, Published: April 9, 2014, Retrieved: July 3, 2015
  5. Aguy Georgios, Zimbabwe sanctions are bitting, Bulawayo24, Published: 6 Apr 2011, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  6. 6.0 6.1 Freeman Razemba, Senator Georgias dies, Herald, Published: 19 Dec 2015, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  7. Parliament of Zimbabwe, The Parliament of Zimbabwe, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 3, 2015
  8. Chengetai Zvauya Sanctions, The Zimbabwe Situation, Published: July 18, 2011, Retrieved: July 3, 2015
  9. Blessing Zulu, Aguy Georgias Dismisses Links With Under Fire HSBC, Voice of America, Published: February 10, 2015, Retrieved: July 3, 2015
  10. POTRAZ board fired over graft, The Herald, Published: July 3, 2015, Retrieved: July 3, 2015
  11. Aguy Georgias, I'm not a thief, I'm not corrupt: Georgias, Herald, Published: 7 Jul 2015, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  12. Trinity Engineering (Pvt) Ltd v Karimazondo & Others (HC 8035/11) [2015] ZWHHC 672 (05 August 2015), ZimLii, Published: 5 Aug 2015, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015
  13. Aguy Georgias, My side of the story, Herald, Published: 13 Oct 2015, Retrieved: 22 Dec 2015