Nyemudzai Kakore, Harare Bureau
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has fired, with immediate effect, Cde Webster Shamu as Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland West Province.
In a statement released last night, principal director in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr Regis Chikowore, said the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, said President Mnangagwa had exercised his powers in terms of Section 108 (1)(a) as read with Section 340 (1) (f) of the Constitution.
“The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Mischeck Sibanda, has announced the removal of Honourable Webster Shamu by His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, from office of Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland West Province,” reads the statement.
“His Excellency the President has exercised his powers in terms of Section 108 (1) as read with Section 340 (1) (f) of the Constitution. Hon Shamu’s removal from office takes immediate effect.”
Section 108(1)(a) provides that the office of a minister or deputy minister becomes vacant if the President removes him or her from office while section 340 (1)(f) empowers the President to suspend or remove the person from office.
The removal of office of Cde Shamu comes in the wake of allegations of electoral rigging levelled against him during the just ended primary elections.
Losing candidate for Chegutu East primary elections Cde Vengai Musengi filed a letter of complaint to the party’s Mashonaland West Provincial offices in Chinhoyi, citing gross irregularities and violation of electoral rules.
Cde Musengi alleged that a vehicle belonging to Cde Shamu was found in possession of ballot papers marked in his favour at Uhuru-Nakazi Polling Station, during the just-ended primary election rerun.
Last month emotions ran high during the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting in Chinhoyi, with Cde Shamu being accused of attempts to destabilise the party.
Cde Shamu did not attend the volatile meeting, where members sought explanations on how the Commissariat Department confirmed some individuals deemed ineligible to participate in the intra-party elections in the just ended primary elections.
The meeting also sought for the censure of Cde Shamu whom they accused of destabilising the party by allegedly setting up candidates to contest against the Special Advisor to the President, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, in Norton Constituency and Provincial Chairperson, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi in Zvimba West Constituency.
The meeting also sought an explanation from Cde Shamu why Cde Ziyambi was on Independence Day barred from sitting at the high table yet he was the only cabinet minister attending the celebrations at Chinhoyi Stadium.
Cde Shamu was previously Minister of Media, Information and Publicity; and Minister of State for Policy Implementation, and he is a Member of Parliament representing Chegutu constituency.
He was appointed as Minister of State for Policy Implementation in February 2004. Cde Shamu won the Chegutu constituency in 2000 parliamentary election.
He was nominated by Zanu-PF as its candidate for National Assembly seat for Chegutu East constituency in the March 2008 parliamentary election.
Following the Zanu-PF–MDC government of national unity was sworn in February 2009, Cde Shamu became Minister of Media, Information and Publicity.
In 2014, Cde Shamu was removed from Zanu-PF as the national political commissar and lost his central committee membership after being accused of being sympathetic to Dr Joice Mujuru and her presumed loyalists. He was also suspended from the party and removed from his ministerial position.
Cd Shamu was re-appointed as a central committee member at the December 2016 Zanu-PF annual conference.
He was then restored to the Cabinet in a reshuffle in October last year, appointed as the Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister.