- Published: 22 December 2014
- Written by Herald
Seven ministers who were expelled on Sunday for conduct and performance below the expected standard have accepted their fate and expressed gratitude to President Mugabe for affording them an opportunity to serve the nation.
The President fired Cdes Flora Buka (Minister of State for Presidential Affairs), Sylvester Nguni (Minister of State in the Vice President's Office), Paul Chimedza (Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care), Tongai Muzenda (Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services), Tendai Savanhu (Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement), Petronella Kagonye (Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development) and Fortune Chasi (Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs) for conduct and performance below the expected standard.
This brought to 15 the number of ministers who have been sent packing as Government gears up for the accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset in the post-congress period.
The 15 ministers, along with former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru who was also dismissed earlier this month, were 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 unconstitutional means, including assassination.
The ministers were axed in terms of Section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 that deals with the tenure of office of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, which stipulates that; "the office of a Minister or Deputy Minister becomes vacant if the President removes him or her from office."
Cde Chasi said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in Government.
Apart from dabbling in factionalism, Cde Chasi was allegedly also fighting against the First Lady's philanthropic activities at her orphanage in Mazowe.
He said: "The assumption was that I would obviously deliver and I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given to work in that capacity.
"I applied myself fully and diligently to the tasks that were given to me. I wish to express my sincere thanks to His Excellency," he said.
Said Cde Muzenda: "I accept the decision by my superior because I got the letter from him and I am waiting for him to come back so that I can thank him for giving me a chance to serve.
"When the leader has made a decision, I follow it. It's not a crisis at all. The party remains ours and I will continue to work for it."
Cde Muzenda, son to late 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.
Cde Buka said she was glad to serve Zanu-PF in any capacity.
"My reaction is to accept zvaitwa nemukuru because I serve at his pleasure. I accept his decision and remain a party member. I will play whatever role I am given," said Cde Buka who is reported to have used money, including abducting party members in pursuit of her goal of landing the portfolio of secretary for Women's Affairs now held by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.
Cde Kagonye said she accepted her fate but wanted an opportunity to clear her name.
"I accept what the President has said because I did not become his follower to get a position. I remain loyal to President Mugabe. But all I want is for the truth to prevail particularly on allegations that I was dating (ousted Mashonaland East provincial chairman Ray) Kaukonde and that I have children with several ministers.
"All I want is for a chance to clear my name because there are people who have been spreading lies about me and those are the same people who took the wrong information to His Excellency. I have never been part of gamatox. I have always been loyal to President Mugabe and will continue to support him in everything he does because I follow his principles.
"I accept his letter and everything he said but I am certain that I will get an opportunity to set the record straight and clear a number of issues that have been claimed. I have documentary evidence against those people who have been spreading wrong information about me," said Cde Kagonye.
She was also accused of fanning factionalism and divisions in Mashonaland East together with Cde Kaukonde, and working with the MDC-T.
She stands accused of swindling over 900 stand beneficiaries and four housing cooperatives of $25 000 by ordering a transfer of the money into her co-operative named Glorious Properties.
Cde Chimedza, apparently smarting from the dismissal, said he had nothing to say.
He is reported to have harboured ambitions of ousting 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.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association yesterday welcomed the sacking of Dr Chimedza saying it was in the best interest of the country's health delivery system as he was not helpful in government.
"For a civil servant who is supposed to improve health service delivery in the country to describe doctors as drunkards and chain-smokers is not only shameful but pathetic, and undermines the office that he occupied," read the statement.
"As ZHDA, we were shocked to hear that the deputy minister blessed the garnishing of struggling doctors' salaries who participated in a constitutional job action demanding improved remuneration.
"We feel that such kind of people should not be allowed anywhere near public office if Zimbabwe is to achieve targets set in Zim-Asset as well as the Millennium Development Goals."
Efforts to get comments from Cdes Nguni and Savanhu were fruitless.
The former is alleged to have been the nerve centre of the Mujuru faction while the latter, who considered himself the godfather of Harare along with ousted provincial chairman Cde Amos Midzi, was accused of using violence against political opponents.
Together with Cde Midzi, Cde Savanhu, is reported to have bussed 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.
Political analysts also welcomed the firing of the ministers who pursued factional politics ahead of implementing Zim-Asset saying they were as good as an internal opposition.