Zimbabwe’s richest man Strive Masiyiwa whose mobile phone company Econet announced last week that it had set aside $10 million to fight the cholera outbreak that has so far claimed 30 lives says he is disturbed that some companies and council officials are trying to defraud his company by charging highly inflated prices for medicines and materials required to curb the disease.
Masiyiwa said he had instructed his company to prepare a list of anyone who tried to take advantage of the situation and will name and shame them once the crisis is over.
He posted on his face book page this morning: “One of the saddest things that happened last week when Econet announced that it had set aside $10m to help with support to buy medicines and materials, was the number of suppliers, and even officials in some of the affected municipalities who tried to defraud our company by offering things at highly inflated prices!
“Gloves worth $3, were suddenly worth $65! That is just so pathetic!
“I have told my people to prepare lists of anyone who willfully tries to exploit the situation. After this crisis is over we will go after them on this platform. Naming and shaming them.”
Masiyiwa said more than 100 youths had turned up at the Higher Life Foundation’s offices in Zimbabwe, in response to a call for volunteers to help with the cholera crisis.
Higher Life Foundation is “a social impact organization raising young African leaders through education by providing platforms for them to fulfil their God given purpose” which was founded by Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi in 1996.
Cholera broke out in Harare on 6 September but continues to claim lives though the Ministry of Health says it is now under control.
Several companies as well as non-governmental organisations have joined the government and the Harare City Council to control the disease.