Robert Mugabe unilaterally strips of Chamisa's Ministry

HARARE – PRESIDENT Mugabe has expanded the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development to include the Department of Communications, putting to rest the debate about which ministry is responsible for telecommunications companies and their regulatory bodies.\r\n

The new portfolio has now become the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development under Minister Nicholas Goche.

The ministry would now oversee the operations at NetOne, TelOne, Zimpost and their governing body, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu and Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa "clashed" recently when the former wanted to address workers at NetOne, which the latter claimed was under his portfolio.

However, sources said President Mugabe has decisively acted on the issue, moving the Communication portfolio to Minister Goche.

"The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, wrote to the relevant ministries outlining their mandates," a source told The Herald.

He said under the new arrangement, Minister Goche would be responsible for all the communication parastatals and their regulatory bodies.

"This means Minister Goche would be responsible for the formulation of policies and laws that govern the parastatals," he said.

The Department of Communications would be governed by the Postal and Telecommunications Act, Postal and Telecommunications Services Act and Postal and Telecommunications Corporation Act.

Transmedia, which was also at the centre of the dispute, however remains under the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity.

Dr Sibanda is also said to have outlined the mandates of the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity and the Ministry of Information Communication Technology.

Minister Shamu will, among other duties, work with such organisations as the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Film and Television School of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings, Zimpapers, Kingston’s and New Ziana.

Information Communication Technology would, however, focus on, among other issues, developing appropriate policies and strategies of ICT innovations while spearheading the development of regulatory frameworks that facilitate the development of ICT.

The ministry would also champion and promote ICT literacy in the country while formulating laws and regulations that would establish necessary departments.