President Mnangagwa yesterday appointed former Harare mayor, Senator Oliver Chidawu to the post of Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Harare Metropolitan Province, as Government’s plans on devolving power to provincial councils in line with the Constitution gathers momentum.
Section (2) of the Constitution obliges central Government to cede more powers to provincial councils for them to determine local development priorities.
President Mnangagwa has challenged provincial ministers to be economic drivers and move away from the old dispensation where they were merely political commissars.
In a statement, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said the appointment was with effect from yesterday.
“His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa has, in terms of Section 104 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 20 of 2013, appointed Senator Oliver Chidawu as the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Harare Petropolitan Province. The appointment is effective 8 March 2019,” reads part of the statement.
Senator Chidawu was born in 1954 and in 1984 became the youngest mayor in the history of Harare city at the age of 29.
A chartered engineer and entrepreneur, Senator Chidawu is chairman of African Banking Corporation Zimbabwe, non-executive chairman of Manders Group and founder of Kuchi Group of Companies.
Senator Chidawu is also a major shareholder in Bitumen Construction. He was also founding shareholder and director of Heritage Investment Bank that merged with First Merchant Bank in 1997.
He also sits on the board of Bindura Nickel Corporation Ltd.
He was director at starafrica corporation, chairman at Pelhams Ltd and Zimplow Ltd. The province has not had a Minister of State since September last year when President Mnangagwa appointed his new Cabinet.
Cde Mirriam Chikukwa was the last Minister of State for Harare.
Harare Metropolitan Province is one of the 10 provinces in Zimbabwe. Its administrative capital is Harare. It includes areas such as Mbare, Machipisa, Highfield, Glen View, Glen Norah, Mabvuku, Tafara, Epworth, Hatfield, Eastlea, Mabelreign, Marlborough, Warren Park, Kuwadzana, Dzivarasekwa among others.
Last month while addressing a Meet the People rally at Rutenga Business Centre in Mwenezi, President Mnangagwa called on provincial ministers to compete in order develop their economies in line with devolution policy spelt out by the Government.
“I told all the 10 Ministers of State that they should compete. In all these provinces we are saying provinces should no longer look to Harare for everything. We want each and every province to have its economy and its Gross Domestic Product,” said President Mnangagwa.