Newly appointed Foreign Affairs minister Frederick Shava — criminal convict haunted by controversial past.

HARARE — President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced new Cabinet appointments on Monday, filling in positions at the transport and foreign affairs ministries following the Covid-19 deaths of Joel Biggie Matiza and Sibusiso Moyo last month.

In event of the passing of late Rtd General Subisiso Moyo, who succumbed to COVID-19 last month, the president went on to appoint his replacement : Ambassador Frederick Shava as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Ambassador Frederick Shava has previously served as ambassador to China but this won’t be his first time in Cabinet; he’s previously served as the first minister of Minister of State for Political Affairs under the late ousted President Robert Mugabe from 1981 and as well as Labour Minister in that period.

History

In 1988, Shava, then the minister of state for political affairs, was implicated in the Willowgate scandal in which ministers and other top ranking government officials were given early access to buy foreign cars at the Willowvale assembly plant in Harare.



In some cases, the cars were bought wholesale and resold at a 200 percent profit.

He now takes up the unenviable task of repairing Zimbabwe’s relations with western countries which cite Mnangagwa’s regime for human rights abuses and have frozen vital financial support.

After his conviction, Shava was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment with no option of a fine, but then President Mugabe acted swiftly and issued a presidential pardon 24 hours later.

Conclusion

Former minister and self exiled Zanu Pf Walter Mzembi applauded the appointment on his Twitter handle.

"This is an appropriate appointment, he is an experienced diplomat with multilateral United Nations (UN) and geopolitical experience .Cabinet not new to him ,should hit the ground running" he said.

Saviour Kasukuwere whose also in exile added via his twitter handle

"I agree, Dr Shava is a balanced and experienced diplomat. He has the appropriate credentials to go with his new assignment and a matured approach to issues. All the best Dr Shava, all eyes on you"



However, the opposition MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere and award winning journalist Hopewell Chin'ono questioned the appointment as he is a criminal convict.

"Zimbabwe once boasted of a globally competitive education system. We were once described as the 'Jewel of Africa'. Many talented people who exhibit ethical leadership could take our nation forward, but they choose a convicted fraudster to be the nation's top diplomat" said Mahere.

Other appointments

Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development: Felex Mhona, MP Chikomba Central who has served as chair of the Parliament’s Budget and Finance portfolio committee

Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development: Mike Madiro, who moves from similar post at Home Affairs. The new Deputy Minister of Home Affairs is Ruth Mavhunga-Mabhoyi, MP for Beitbridge West.

Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services: Kindness Paradza. The former newspaper editor and MP for Makonde. Minister of State for Manicaland is Nokuthula Matsikenyere, MP for Chimanimani West