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Social Media Smear Campaign Targets Zimbabwean Business Leader Obey Chimuka Over US Sanctions

In the wake of recent US sanctions against individuals and entities in Zimbabwe, indigenous business figures, particularly in the construction sector, are facing orchestrated attacks on social media platforms. Among those targeted is Obey Chimuka, CEO of Fossil Group, who has been subjected to a barrage of false allegations and malicious rumors aimed at tarnishing his reputation and impeding infrastructure development projects.

The spurious claims come amid efforts by Zimbabwe’s Second Republic, led by President Mnangagwa, to empower local companies and prioritize their involvement in key infrastructure projects. This shift has disrupted the dominance of foreign multinationals in the construction sector, prompting backlash from anti-Zimbabwe elements seeking to derail the country’s development agenda.

The attacks on Chimuka and other indigenous business leaders are fueled by sponsored social media trolls, aiming to sow discord and undermine confidence in local enterprises. These efforts, often amounting to slander and cyberbullying, have prompted Chimuka’s legal team to consider legal action against the perpetrators.

Despite Chimuka’s significant contributions to Zimbabwe’s infrastructure development, including the Beitbridge-Harare road rehabilitation and the Mbudzi Interchange project, malicious actors continue to spread falsehoods about his business dealings and integrity.

Under Chimuka’s leadership, Fossil Contracting has played a crucial role in various infrastructure projects, demonstrating a commitment to modern technology and high standards of construction. However, the unwarranted attacks on his character threaten to disrupt ongoing projects and hinder future endeavors.

Chimuka’s success story, highlighted by the acquisition of Lafarge Cement and significant investments in local production facilities, exemplifies the potential of indigenous businesses to drive economic growth and self-sufficiency. Yet, the relentless onslaught of social media defamation could force Chimuka to reconsider the scale of his operations, impacting employment and economic prospects in Zimbabwe.

As the government emphasizes the importance of supporting local industries, particularly in cement production, Chimuka’s plight underscores the broader challenges facing Zimbabwean entrepreneurs in the face of external pressures and unfounded allegations. Despite the resilience and ingenuity demonstrated by Chimuka and others, the specter of unjustified sanctions threatens to cast a shadow over their achievements and future aspirations.

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