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‘Give Tatenda Mavetera a chance’ -Mzembi defends embarrassed Minister

Zimbabwe’s newly appointed ICT Minister, Tatenda Mavetera who recently faced an avalanche of criticism for failing to properly define the role of artificial intelligence (AI) while she copy-pasted Bill Gates’ quote about technology without providing due credit, has found support from fierce government critic and exiled former cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi.

Mavetera is a former actress famous for her role on the TV series Studio 263. Her recent appointment has been under a lot of scrutiny, and the plagiarism blunder along with the bad speech, showing no knowledge of ICT, further fueled criticism.

Without crediting the author or at least rephrasing, Mavetera caused a stir two weeks ago after she posted her picture captioned by Gates’ quote saying “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.”

She then said “Am ready to serve !!!”

With the world already shrinking into a global village due to technological advances, the Minister has been on TV several times interviewed about ICT sectors like AI but she seemingly failed to articulate critical issues her Ministry would tackle to make Zimbabwe competitive in this digital world.

During her inaugural speech, Mavetera drew ridicule by saying: “We need ICT because you see ICT is important and ICT also to the rural areas, so ICT will be our key focus to make sure ICT reaches every corner of Zimbabwe as you can see ICT is not very popular right now, but we will take measures to ensure ICT advances.”

Mzembi, a former Tourism Minister believes that Mavetera has an opportunity to deliver because she is a successful actress.

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He added that actresses are not measured by accumulation of qualifications or PhDs.

Mzembi said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa rewarded Mavetera for her role and that of the controversial Zanu-PF aligned shadowy organisation Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ) during the 2023 harmonised general elections.

“I have been following Debate about this Minister Tatenda Mavetera ICT, I didn’t know much about her, some say she was a Studio 263 Actress, still I didn’t recognise her because I never watched an episode of this soap.

“My point is if she was a good actress she would probably make a good Minister of anything, in a country where all Ministers often do is read prepared speeches, preside over ceremonies and workshops they hardly understand, get applauded and leave,” Mzembi said.

“Minister Mavetera was appointed for her loyalty, she can fit into any script , and she also acted well with her 4ED Project. Subsequently traditional party structures were bussed passengers to Rallies whose script only the likes of Mavetera and FAZ were privy to.

“The Party subcontracted its campaign to FAZ and Mavetera and notwithstanding the crude script they “won” hence the rewards. The person for whom they were doing it for Emmerson Mnangagwa is the type who would say the end justifies the means, and in fact he said so during the appointments,” he said.

“So here we are, one has to learn a thing or two from Mavetera , she is in my book a good actress unlike Kirsty Coventry who has had no impact except kuti “ndine murumbi wangu muCabjnet “. Although I never watched any of Mavetera episodes because she is a good actress she may surprisingly deliver.

“Actresses are not measured by accumulation of qualifications or PhDs which may have been a point of unnecessary scrutiny as she tried to ” act” academic. She didn’t need that. She was or is a good actor without those academic tags.

“Next space is delivery. Delivery is a function of the bar set for her. If it’s low unongodanyanga. There are three bars, the public bar, sectoral bar and her boss ‘s bar. Lets watch the space, she may actually deliver on one of the bars, at least the boss ‘s bar. Early days!”