Mthuli Ncube does not have spokesperson, Acie Lumumba’s Task Force not yet operational: Govt

William Mutumanje

Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube has dumped Mr Acie Lumumba, as the Chair of Communication Taskforce in the ministry, three days after his appointment.

The appointment of Mr Lumumba for the public relations job drew relentless brickbats from many quarters of the society with questions being raised over his credentials to run the high-profile portfolio in the ministry.

The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service announced on its Twitter handle the latest development.

“The Minister (Mthuli Ncube) would like to inform the public that he does not have a spokesperson outside institutions of government. Regarding the ‘Communications Taskforce’ he is yet to operationalise it as he is dealing with requirements of PRAZ and Civil Service Commission,” said the ministry.

Minister Ncube reportedly appointed Mr Lumumba to head the Communications Taskforce in the ministry last Friday.

According to the letter Minister Ncube said: “This letter serves to appoint you as chairman of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Communications Taskforce.

“The (task-force) will reimburse you for all your reasonable and properly documented expenses that you incur in performing the duties of your office.

“It is my expectation that you will bring your experience in leadership and communications strategy to improve the communication between my office and the people of Zimbabwe.”

Following his appointment, Mr Lumumba hit the ground running and in live video that went viral on the social media platforms, announced that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe directors were feeding the blackmarket with bondnotes.

He boasted that he had access to financial intelligence supplied to him during briefings with Minister Ncube.

He went on to name Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa and Azvinandawa Saburi as the chief culprits behind parallel markets nefarious activities.

This resulted in RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya suspending the four, to pave way for investigations.

Efforts to get a comment from Minister Ncube were fruitless.

Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr George Guvamatanga said he left office early and could neither deny or confirm Mr Lumumba’s sacking.

He pledged a response after 15 minutes but was no longer answering his mobile phone by the time of going to print.