Responding to why he did not retire as Presidential spokesperson and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary as he pledged he would if Robert Mugabe retired, George Charamba said he was asked to continue by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In an interview with Larry Kwirirayi on ZiFM Stereo on Monday evening, Charamba said he expected to retire when Mugabe did and assist him in writing his memoirs. He also added that he wanted to spend time with his family considering that he lost his wife. Said Charamba:
…I expected to do two things; leave Government about the time that the President (Mugabe) would have left and this was all on the assumption that departure would be normal, except then it happened in a very acrimonious and conflictual environment.
And then the second thing I was going to do was I was going to join the former President in working on his memoirs because he needs to download, he owes this country some kind of history and I thought I had some role to play.
I also I lost my wife, I wanted to give a little more time to my children so that you know I could have more time with the kids and play surrogate mother in the absence of my late wife. These were the three considerations that I had until when the President (Mnangagwa) after constituting his Government then said to me ‘Charamba this is national service it’s not about what you want it is what I would want you to do so you are joining me in the capacity of permanent secretary and as well as spokesperson’…
He added he has no problem being both spokesperson for Mugabe and now Mnangagwa. Said Charamba:
…systems do not rapture, they evolve. The same George who was with President Mugabe can on the basis of sheer competence transit into a new dispensation and as a matter fact we had a discussion with the current President who said ‘Well I still want your services as my spokesperson’ and then I said ‘Really? Surely shouldn’t you get your own person?’ and he said ‘Well you are the person who I have chosen.’
So really he has no difficulties with that and he is my boss. The Public Service has no difficulties with that and the public service is my employer.
So having satisfied both my boss as well as the employer I have really no compaction with transiting from one dispensation into the other. After all I was part of the forces that gave rise to the current dispensation…