PRESIDENT Mugabe has fired seven more ministers from the government for conduct and performance below the expected standard, bringing to 16 the number of ministers sent packing as the government gears up for the accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset in the post-congress period.
The 15 ministers, along with former Vice President Joice Mujuru who was also dismissed earlier this month, stand accused of reneging on their government mandate by expending their energy and time on alleged graft and factional politics through which they sought to topple President Mugabe through unprecedented means, including assassination.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda yesterday said President Mugabe had relieved two ministers and five deputy ministers of their duties in terms of section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013.
“In terms of Section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013, His Excellency the President, Cde R G Mugabe, has further relieved the following Ministers and Deputy Ministers of their duties and functions with immediate effect, as it had become apparent that their conduct and performance were below the expected standard and outcome:-
– Hon Flora Buka, MP: Minister of State for Presidential Affairs
– Hon Sylvester Nguni, MP: Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office;
– Hon Paul Chimedza, MP: Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care;
– Hon Tongai Muzenda, MP: Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services;
– Hon Tendai Savanhu, MP: Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement;
– Hon Petronella Kagonye, MP: Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; and
– Hon Fortune Chasi, MP: Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Section 108(1)(a) of the Constitution, that deals with the tenure of office of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, stipulates that; “the office of a Minister or Deputy Minister becomes vacant if the President removes him or her from office.’’
The seven are part of the group of ministers that was under investigation since the first group was booted out alongside Cde Mujuru on December 8 this year and are accused of having been part of the former VP’s inner circle.
Buka was reported to have been eyeing the post of secretary for Women’s Affairs that was then held by Cde Oppah Muchinguri and is reported to have used money and abducting party members.
She was implicated in the kidnapping saga ahead of the Zanu-PF Women’s League Conference in August where she was said to have abducted and held members of the Women’s League including Gokwe Gumunyu MP Cde Melania Majovana hostage in a bid to force them to vote for her.
She held 50 women against their will at a lodge in Gokwe ahead of the anticipated vote.
Cde Buka, a former teacher in the Midlands from 1990-1995, served as Minister of State in Vice President Simon Muzenda’s Office before being appointed Minister of State for Land Reform in August 2002. She also served as Minister of State in the late VPs John Nkomo and Joseph Msika’s offices.
She was appointed Minister of State for Presidential Affairs after last year’s harmonised elections.
Whereas former Mashonaland East provincial chairman Cde Ray Kaukonde was identified as the political nerve centre of the Mujuru faction, Cde Nguni was the administrative centre of the factional activities. Cde Nguni was first appointed deputy Minister of Agriculture in 2005 before being appointed Minister of State in former VP Mujuru’s office in 2009.
He was retained in the same capacity last year.
Cde Chimedza, who is reported to have harboured ambitions of succeeding his boss – Dr David Parirenyatwa – at the Ministry of Health and Child Care, is described by those close to him as a reckless fellow who jumped head first into factional activities in the hope of realising his dream. Cde Chimedza was appointed in 2013 as Health and Child Care Deputy Minister.
Cde Muzenda, son to national hero and Vice President Dr Simon Muzenda, is accused of attempting to ride on his father’s name for factional interests which the late national hero known as the Soul of the Nation would have frowned upon. He was appointed last year as Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
Cde Savanhu, who considered himself the godfather of Harare along with ousted provincial chairman Cde Amos Midzi, is accused of using violence against political opponents. Together with Cde Midzi, Cde Savanhu is accused of bussing people to Harare International Airport to demonstrate against the First Lady ahead of President Mugabe’s return from Rome where he had gone for a beatification ceremony at The Vatican.
Cde Kagonye, who was said to be very close to Cde Kaukonde, was also accused of fanning factionalism and divisions in Mashonaland East together with Cde Kaukonde as well as working with the MDC-T.
She stands accused of swindling over 900 stand beneficiaries, four housing cooperatives of $25,000 by ordering a transfer of the money into her co-operative named Glorious Properties.
She was also new to the government, having been appointed last year.
Cde Chasi, apart from dabbling in factionalism, was also fighting against the First Lady’s philanthropic activities at her orphanage in Mazowe.
A lawyer by profession, Cde Chasi was elected MP for Mazowe South in 2013 and became Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs on September 10 the same year.
Cde Mugabe in August this year lambasted Cde Chasi, accusing him of terrorising her in Mazowe, where she runs a children’s home.
Cde Chasi was said to be spreading falsehoods and other unfounded allegations aimed at tarnishing the name of the First Family.
Cde Mugabe said Cde Chasi also made false allegations that she engineered the eviction of a certain sangoma who was staying at Henderson Farm, yet the sangoma was expelled by the Mashonaland Central provincial leadership for illegal gold panning.