ZANU PF youth league has come out guns blazing against Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, accusing him of being used by external forces in an effort to destabilise and discredit government programmes.
Ncube was fished from Europe, where he was running a consultancy firm and hoisted as a technocrat with solutions to fix the burning economy.
But since coming on board as a Cabinet minister, he has been tripping on political landmines, with the latest being the appointment of chairperson of communication taskforce, William Gerald Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba.
Politburo member and youth league deputy secretary Lewis Matutu called Ncube to order, telling him to be sober and avoid advancing the agenda of pro-former President Robert Mugabe’s remnants in government.
“Corruption should never be tolerated at all levels of government and society in general and it is every Zimbabwean’s responsibility to fight the cancer. However, the Finance minister Ncube, through his ‘spokesman’ Mutumanje, has decided to directly criticise government,” he said.
Matutu, who is currently out of the country, said he had noticed an attempt to scandalise Sakunda Holdings when the company was the backbone of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s command agriculture programme.
“The attempt to attack government programmes, particularly command agriculture, under the guise of exposing corruption at the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe], is unacceptable,” he said.
“We are very much aware that there are a lot of people who believed in the old dispensation, but are still in government, while others are not in government or outside the country influencing what is happening in government.
We call upon Minister Ncube to be sober and responsible in difficult economic circumstances like these, to be mature and to remain focused on the revival of the economy.”
In a show that real power resides with Zanu PF and not government, Matutu said it was foolish to think that government needed a Facebook live video to act on corruption at RBZ.
He said, instead, both Ncube and RBZ chief John Mangudya should take responsibility and not attempt mudslinging tactics.
Ncube yesterday refused to take questions on Mutumanje during a media briefing held after the Cabinet meeting.
But government has already sought to distance Ncube from Mutumanje, saying he was yet to fully assume his role as the spokesperson of the ministry.
“Minister of Finance Hon Ncube would like to inform the public that he doesn’t have a spokesperson outside institutions of government. Regarding the communications taskforce, he is yet to operationalise it as he is dealing with requirements of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe and Civil Service Commission,” Information ministry permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said.