President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been left with egg on his face after the general secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Reverend Kenneth Mtata snubbed an invitation to be a member of his Presidential Advisory Council (Pac).
In a letter dated January 30, the clergyman said although he was flattered by Mnangagwa’s invite, he was limited by the demands of his current position.
“It has (been) brought to my attention today (Wednesday) that my name has been included on the list of individuals appointed to serve as members of the Presidential Advisory Council.
“The same has been announced on national television. I feel really flattered to be invited to serve the nation and president in such a role in a moment as this,” wrote Mtata.
“My current position will however, limit effective functioning in such a huge role. I have therefore humbly withdrawn my name. The president will be fully briefed of my commitment to the nation building agenda and I will support his efforts in other ways within my capabilities.”
This comes after Mnangagwa announced the formation of a Pac to advise him in formulating key economic policies and strategies that advance his so-called Vision 2030.
He did not announce who will chair the 26-member council comprising entrepreneurs, business executives, intellectuals and church leaders or how frequently they would meet.
Mtata’s letter suggests that the president did not call any of the appointees prior to their appointment to ask for their help in joining the council.
Its members include Divine Ndhlukula; newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube; development banker Thomas Zondo Sakala; Sibusiso Moyo; Joe Mtizwa; Lewis Maxwell Musasike; Nobert Mugwagwa; Godfrey Sikipa; Remigius Makumbe; Simbarashe Mangwengwende; Lindiwe Sibanda; Aenias Chuma; Edwin Manikai; Sam Malaba; Professor Kuzvinetsa Nzvimbo; Natalie Jabangwe; Janah Ncube; Shingi Munyeza; Simon Hammond; Richard Wilde; Kudakwashe Tagwirei; Professor Robson Mafoti; Mfaro Moyo; Elisa Ravengai and Herbert Nkala.
The chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said the advisory council will advise Mnangagwa and the government on a wide range of sectoral issues.
He said the Pac will serve as the president’s sounding board on key economic reforms, issues and initiatives in line with the president’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business and Dialogue mantra and also within the policy framework of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
Sibanda said Mnangagwa selected the members based on experience, expertise, leadership, contacts and standing in society.