HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday made sweeping changes to the country’s top civil service, retiring a batch of long-serving bureaucrats and promoting new faces in a break with his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa, elected in July in a vote ratified by the courts after an opposition challenge, is under pressure at home and abroad to differentiate his administration from that of his former mentor Mugabe, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in November.
Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary to the president, said Mnangagwa had retired nine senior government officials, including Tobaiwa Mudede, an abrasive lawyer-turned-bureaucrat who had served as registrar general since independence in 1980 and was until recently in charge of the voter register.
Mnangagwa also re-assigned 19 other top civil servants without giving them specific roles, including Willard Manungo the most senior bureaucrat in the finance ministry. His replacement is George Guvamatanga, a former managing director at Barclays Bank Zimbabwe.
The 76-year-old president appointed 17 other permanent secretaries – the civil servants in charge of running the daily affairs of government ministries.
Mugabe’s spokesman of 25 years George Charamba, who had continued in the role since first Mnangagwa took office in November, was promoted to deputy chief secretary in charge of presidential communications.
Charamba, who writes a weekly ghost column critical of government opponents in a state-owned daily paper, is known for his testy character especially by foreign journalists. His replacement is expected to be named soon.
The appointment of permanent secretaries, made in terms of Section 205 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, are as follows:
- Defence and War Veterans – Mr Martin Rushwaya.
- Finance and Economic Development – Mr George Tongesayi Guvamatanga.
- Energy and Power Development – Dr Gloria Magombo.
- Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development – Dr Rudo Chitiga.
- Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage – Mr Melusi Matshiya.
- Transport and Infrastructural Development – Engineer Amos Marawa.
- Local Government, Public Works and National Housing – Mr George Magosvongwe.
- Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development – Prof. Fanuel Tagwira.
- Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement – Mr Ringson Chitsiko.
- Health and Child Care – Brigadier General Dr Gerald Gwinji.
- Industry and Commerce – Dr Mavis Sibanda.
- Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry – Mr Munesushe Munodawafa.
- Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare – Dr Judith Kateera.
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade – Ambassador James Manzou.
- Mines and Mining Development – Mr Onesimo M. Moyo.
- Information Communication Technology and Courier Services – Engineer Samuel Kundishora.
- Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation – Dr Thokozile Chitepo.
- Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs – Mrs Virginia Mabiza.
NB: Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education are yet to be appointed.
Mr George Charamba has been appointed Deputy Chief Secretary – Presidential Communications, while Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe is the Secretary to the Service Commissions.
Retired Permanent Secretaries and Principal Directors in terms of Section 17 (1)(a) of the Public Service Regulations 2000, are as follows:
- Mr Ngoni Masoka.
- Mr Partson Mbiriri.
- Ambassador Joey Bimha.
- Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku.
- Mr Tobaiwa Mudede.
- Ambassador Lelebert Nkomani.
- Mrs Ethel Mlauzi.
- Mrs Anne Knuth.
- Mr Valentine Vera.
In a statement to the ZBC News, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda said the government would like to thank the retired officials for their long service and contributions to the people and the country, their loyalty and unwavering dedication to duty.
The following senior officials have been reassigned:
- Ray C. Ndhlukula.
- Mrs Pretty Sunguro.
- Dr Washington Mbizvo.
- Ambassador Stuart Cmberbach.
- Ambassador Nicholas Kitikiti.
- Mr Willard Manungo.
- Mr Prince Mupazviriho.
- Dr Desire Sibanda.
- Mrs Sibususuwe Zembe.
- Ambassador Grace Mutandiro.
- Mrs Sibusisiwe Zembe.
- Ambassador Mary Mubi.
- Mr Ozias Hove.
- Mr Clemence Masango.
- Mrs Eghpha Jokomo.
- Mr Simon Masanga.
- Mr Eria Phiri
- Mr Clifford Matorera.
- Mr Innocent Tizora.