BY RICHARD MUPONDE
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appointed Frederick Shava and Felix Mhona as the new Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Transport and Infrastructural Development ministers, replacing the late Sibusiso Moyo and Joel Biggie Matiza, who both succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic last month.
Shava had been, until his appointment yesterday, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the United Nations.
In a Press statement last night, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, said: “In terms of section 104(1) and (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment No 20) of 2013, His Excellency the President, Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa, has appointed the following ministers and deputy ministers of government.”
Mnangagwa moved Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro to the Transport ministry, where he will deputise Mhona.
Beitbridge West MP Ruth Mabhoyi-Ncube will assume the Home Affairs deputy minister portfolio.
Makonde legislator Kindness Paradza, a journalist by profession, was appointed Information deputy minister, replacing Goromonzi West MP Energy Mutodi
who was fired from government last year.
Chimanimani West MP Nokuthula Matsikenyere was appointed Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, taking over from Ellen Gwaradzimba who passed on last month.
In the late 1980s, Shava was one of the Zimbabwean Cabinet ministers that were arrested, tried and convicted of perjury over the infamous Willowgate scandal.
The scandal involved several ministers who abused their positions to buy the then luxurious Toyota Cressida vehicles from the government-controlled vehicle assembler, Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries. They re-sold them to corporates at inflated prices, mostly double or three times their purchase price.
Shava lied under oath to the Justice Wilson Sandura Commission that was investigating cases of corruption involving ministers.
In its judgment while convicting Shava, the High Court said: “The post of minister is a very high office, which carries great status, privileges and powers. It also carries great responsibilities.
“The incumbent of such an office is expected to lead by example. His primary duty is to observe the laws of the country. In this regard, the accused failed miserably.”
After his conviction, Shava was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment without an option of a fine, but the late former President Robert Mugabe pardoned him 24 hours later.
Sibanda last night also said Shava’s appointment as Foreign Affairs minister would take effect upon issuance of an appropriate Government Gazette proclaiming him senator for the Midlands province.