THE removal of Saviour Kasukuwere from the Indigenisation ministry torched celebrations at the National Indigenisation Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) by employees who detested his abrasive management style.
Kasukuwere was reassigned to head the new Water Resources, Environment and Climate ministry. Former Environment minister Francis Nhema has taken over the Indigenisation ministry.
A NIEEB staffer said there were ecstatic celebrations when news of Kasukuwere’s removal filtered through. The employees’ acrimony towards Kasukuwere, the staffer alleged, was a result of the constant harassment they suffered at his hands.
They also resented consultants Kasukuwere deployed at the board as they bossed everybody around. Such was their resentment of the minister that some employees claim they resorted to fasting and praying that Kasukuwere would not be reappointed to the ministry in the new cabinet.
“Working with Kasukuwere was very difficult,” said a relieved staffer. “We were very depressed. If it were not for the high unemployment rate, we would have quit our jobs. Some of us started prayer and fasting sessions before the president announced his cabinet for Kasukuwere not to come back (to the ministry).”
The NIEEB employees also described Kasukuwere as “combative and excitable”. The minister was involved in several confrontations during his tenure as Indigenisation minister, with the most notable being his fallout with Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono over company seizures.