Birds of a feather, Mthuli Ncube flock with Lumumba?

Birds of a feather, Mthuli Ncube flock with Lumumba?
Published: 22 October 2018 (232 Views)
Recent events in government have been largely surprising as those tasked with crafting policies that will turn around the fortunes of the country battle to achieve their goals.

No sooner than Finance minister Mthuli Ncube had introduced the controversial two percent tax on electronic transactions - which took effect last week - did he jolt Zimbabweans by appointing a committee to take charge of communications in his ministry.

The position of chairperson of this yet-to-be-appointed committee fell to William Mutumanje, popularly known as Acie Lumumba - an individual with a chequered history of controversy.

Lumumba ran for the Hatfield parliamentary seat in 2013, slugging it out with the MDC's Tapiwa Mashakada. He was accused of issuing fake voter registration slips to some of his supporters.

He also has three unresolved fraud cases and has also previously been accused of "lying" that he had obtained a degree from the prestigious Harvard University.

This is over and above being fired as the chairperson of a steering committee on the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Strategy for Investment, amid allegations of misappropriation of funds meant for the Zimbabwe Youth Council.

He was also filmed performing a sexual act with his partner and the sex tape was recovered from his house during a police raid.

Zimbabwe currently has a battered image following years of isolation from the global community. Appointing people with questionable track records to key government positions will in no way help spruce up the country's image.

The outcry over the appointment - as reported elsewhere in this edition- certainly shows not only dissatisfaction in Zimbabweans with the appointment. Obviously, this is a parallel structure that will do a job the Information ministry could handle.

Hopefully, the new minister is not casting doubt in the capacity of those at the Information ministry in handling communications for his ministry. Yet also, it could signal mistrust of government functionaries which will be a major contradiction because they are tasked with handling government programmes.

On the one hand, this is a duplication of roles that Ncube is trying to bring. On the other, it brings a lot of questions on Ncube's sincerity to his austerity measures. Who is going to pay the committee?

While Ncube has been widely praised for being a technocrat, appointments such as this one will no doubt stain him. Besides, he may have opened floodgates of similar appointments for other ministries where technocrats have been placed as heads.

- dailynews

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