Mnangagwa piles up military and spy agents into media

HARARE – Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has influenced the appointment of members of CIO, military officers and loyalists into the boards of Information Ministry, in a bold move to position himself to takeover power from Robert Mugabe.

Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu announced the "Dream Team" appointments of new board members to various parastatals under his ministry with immediate effect..

Last night we could not confirm whether the MDC was consulted in the appointment process.

Sources said the appointments dubbed "Dream Team." will report to Jonathan Moyo, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Chief Strategists. After rejoining Zanu PF, Moyo will be appointed Head of a special unit, managing and plotting Mnangagwa’s election strategies.

Mnangagwa is now considered the most powerful figure in ZANU-PF party, and a leading candidate to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

“We expect no less from them than hard work. The people have been selected for their expertise in various fields related to the companies they will be serving and we want to see these entities contributing to the development of the country,” Minister Shamu was quoted in the state media.

Mugabe’s close ally and former Chief Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Charles Utete, Cabinet, is the new chairman of the Zimbabwe Newspapers Group and he will be deputised by Mr Chakanyuka Karase a former CIO operative.

Another Zanu apologist Mr Cuthbert Dube has been appointed chairman of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and will be deputised by National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe executive director Mrs Doreen Sibanda.

Analysts have been shocked by the announcement given that the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) meant to overseee and recommend such appointments is still yet to be appointed.

A political Analyst said Webster Shamu’s actions indicate that MDC leader and Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister is just a spectator in the so called GNU.

The biggest shock came from the appointment of Dr Tafatona Mahoso to head the board the board of the Broadcast Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) with Zimbabwe Open University Vice Chancellor Dr Primrose Kurasha as his deputy.

Mahoso, who presided over the now defunct MIC, a body that was tasked with accrediting journalists and licensing newspapers in Zimbabwe will oversee the licening of possible new broadcasters in what many have described a step in the wrong direction.

Mahoso, a Zanu-PF apologist is known by many in the media industry as the biggest threat to a free media in Zimbabwe. His appointment to head BAZ will ruffle many feathers in the industry.

While Zanu-PF ministers are free to do as they please in the GNU, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai can only watch and wish he had the power to stop them.

"There is no doubt that such appointments are made without the PM’s approval, one Harare resident said, It pains every peace loving ZImbabwean that we exchanged an election win for more of the same, he added.

Below is the full list of the appointments some of whom are former members of the Army, Airforce and the Centrail Intelligence Organisation and includes this writer’s former teacher and now a top CIO operative, Alexander Kanengoni:

Zimpapers Board: Dr Charles Utete (chair), Mr Chakanyuka Karase (deputy chair) Mr Alexander Kanengoni, Mr Munyaradzi Kereke, Brigadier-General Epmarcus Kanhanga, Dr Nyasha Madzingira, Mr Joseph Mandizha, Mr Rungamo Mbire.

BAZ Board: Dr Tafataona Mahoso (chair), Dr Primrose Kurasha (deputy chair), Mr Edward Dube, Colonel Reuben Mqwayi, Ms Charity Moyo, Retired Brig-Gen Elasto Madzingira, Mrs Erica Mususa, Reverend J D Mutuvira, Chief Gambiza, Mrs Susan Makore, Dr Vimbai Chivaura, Dr G Chada.

ZBH Board: Mr Cuthbert Dube (chair) Mrs Doreen Sibanda (deputy chair), Rtd Brig-Genl Benjamin Mabenge, Mr Job Jonhera, Mr Olley Maruma, Rtd Brig-Gen Felix Muchemwa, Advocate Farai Mutamangira, Mr Christopher Pasipamire, Mr Bob Nyabinde, Rtd Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze, Mr Clement Mabaso, Bishop Trevor Manhanga.

Transmedia Board: Dr Paul Chimedza (chair), Ms Mercy Chizodza (deputy chair), Engineer David Chikowore, Mrs Beauty Simpson-Zhuwao, Rtd Brig-Gen Livingstone Chineka, Mr Raymond Takavarasha, Mr Clive Murwira, Mr Zwelitsha Masuku, Mrs Sithsengiso Muzanenhamo-Zivhave, Eng Emmanuel Midzi

Kingstons Board: Dr Millicent Mombeshora (chair), Mr Justin Mutasa (deputy chair), Rtd Brig-Gen Collin Moyo, Mr Munyaradzi Machacha, Mr Mohamed Allana, Ms Cynthia Khumalo, Rev Elias Musakwa, Mr Foster Chitava, Ms Priscilla Munangate

New Ziana: Mrs Rosemary Mazula (chair), Mr Goodson Nguni (deputy chair), Rtd Col Claudius Makova, Mr Douglas Dhliwayo, Mrs Florence Sigudu-Matambo, Mr Stephen Mpofu, Mr Nimrod Chiminya, Mrs Evelyn Kawonza, Mr Peter Nyoni.