War Veterans leader, Chris Mutsvangwa, who served as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special advisor was not reinstated to his role after the elections in July, the office of the president has confirmed.
Mutsvangwa was initially appointed as Minister of Information and Publicity, but was then appointed as the President’s advisor in Mnangagwa’s first cabinet, installed shortly after the November military driven operation restore legacy.
However, the Mail and Telegraph has learnt that when new cabinet appointments were made after the July elections, Mutsvangwa was not restored to his position, as the President sought to further trim his cabinet.
Officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet confirmed that despite Mutsvangwa’s absence on the most recent letters of appointment, members of the media had assumed that he had continued in his role, and continued to refer to Mutsvangwa as the President’s advisor.
“Ambassador Mutsvangwa has not been the President’s advisor for a long time. Everyone who was appointed as part of the new cabinet and to positions within the OPC had their names gazetted in announcements.
“Mutsvangwa was not fired per say, but his contract and appointment to that role was not renewed. He continues to be referred to, and quoted as the President’s advisor, which is incorrect.”, the office of the President said.
A quick glance at the list of presidential appointments gazetted after President Mnangagwa was appointed appears to confirm the position of the Office of the President, as Mutsvangwa’s name is absent.
Mutsvangwa, who was in China recently for medical treatment, returned to Zimbabwe to torch a storm, conducting an interview with local weekly The Standard, where he accused a local businessman, Kuda Tagwirei of running a forex cartel in the country.
Mutsvangwa accused Tagwirei of getting preferential treatment from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through shady forex allocation as well as running a monopoly on the fuel supply.
“One of the optimal conditions to attract investment is free competition. The RBZ is not a source of capital. Tagwirei relies on RBZ foreign currency allocation and claims to be a businessperson. I don’t respect such business people,” he said.
“Tagwirei’s business gets about US$80 to US$90 million every month for fuel from the RBZ, yet many companies, some of them largest fuel dealers in the world, want to come and invest in the fuel industry in the country.
“You can ask (Energy) minister Joram Gumbo. There are many who want to come. We can’t have a whole country for one man,” he said.
Mutsvangwa also claimed his election loss to Norton MP Temba Mliswa was due to interference by Tagwirei ensure he was kept out of government as he was outspoken critic of the Sakunda “oligopoly.”
Mutsvangwa also alleged that Sakunda’s support for the government’s command agriculture programme was meant to facilitate state capture.
Additional reporting by Fungai Chimbindi for Mail & Telegraph