VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has disclosed that in 2013 he confronted President Robert Mugabe protesting the transfer of Saviour Kasukuwere from the Ministry of Indigenisation, Youth and Economic Empowerment, arguing that the “young minister” should have remained at the ministry as he was full of energy and vigor.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Mnangagwa made the remarks in Mutare last Thursday when he officially commissioned the city’s $9,1 million water reservoir.
Kasukuwere was transferred from the Indigenisation ministry to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate in a Cabinet reshuffle announced by Mugabe in September 2013.
Kasukuwere switched his portfolio with Francis Nhema, who was Environment minister.
But Nhema was fired in January this year following a massive Zanu PF purge that saw then Vice-President Joice Mujuru and 16 ministers lose their party and government posts on allegations of plotting Mugabe’s downfall.
Nhema was replaced by former Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Chris Mushohwe as Indigenisation minister, but he has not been as vocal as Kasukuwere.
Mnangagwa, who until the latest Cabinet reshuffle was Justice minister, was also appointed Vice-President, replacing
Mujuru. He still holds the Justice ministry portfolio.
“Initially when Minister Kasukuwere was transferred from the Ministry of Indigenisation to the Ministry of Environment and Water, I said to my boss, the President (Robert Mugabe), that: ‘This young man has a lot of potential, why are you removing him from the Ministry of Indigenisation as he showed a lot of vigour and energy?’” he said.
“The entire country was shaking with his indigenisation policies, but I now realised that he also needs to do more in the area of environment. He has a full plate, water will become a very critical item worldwide in the future.”
Mnangagwa added: “In the future, it is necessary that he produces a water and environment policy for our country so that the future generations will benefit.”
The controversial Indigenisation policy was crafted a few years back to force foreign-owned firms to cede 51% of their shareholding to local investors.
The policy has been met with a lot of resistance from foreign investors who viewed it as meant to fleece them of their shareholding.