Senior civil servants close to Zanu PF chefs fear backlash


Minister Webster Shamu and his wife Constance doze off during President Robert Mugabe’s speech before the burial of the late national hero Eric Nyakudya Gwanzura at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday

CIVIL servants and parastatals bosses close to senior Zanu PF officials who are casualties of the party’s factional fights fear a backlash which could see them removed from their positions after the ongoing Zanu PF congress whose backdrop witnessed Vice-President Joice Mujuru and her allies being ruthlessly purged and crushed.

Wongai Zhangazha

Although civil servants work for government and are employed by the Public Service Commission and not Zanu PF, some senior civil servants, just like officials in the country’s security sector, have become close to some politicians and were actively involved in the ruling party and its factional politics.

Some civil servants and parastatals bosses, officials said, were also advancing the business interests of Zanu PF factions, hence their unease and fears of a backlash. Several party officials linked to Mujuru lost their central committee positions following yet to be proved allegations that they were corrupt and plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

Senior civil servants told the Zimbabwe Independent this week the disquiet was evident in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and Postal and Courier Services following minister Webster Shamu’s ouster.
Fear also pervaded other ministries headed by ministers who are facing purging in a likely cabinet reshuffle any time from now.

“(Some of) the staff in Shamu’s office last week wept when they learnt of the ouster of the minister. It was just unbelievable,” said a source. “His ouster left them unsure of their future, with some fearing that they would be re-assigned to lesser posts, the pool or even fired.”

In his speech at the official opening of the Zanu PF congress yesterday, Mugabe threatened to arrest Mujuru and ministers who support her. He also threatened to fire civil servants involved in factional fights, in apparent reference to those suspected to have backed Mujuru.

The sources said not only was there fear among those in Shamu’s office but in a number of offices of senior Zanu PF officials who are also top government officials accused of attempting to oust Mugabe.

Other than Mujuru, several ministers among them Labour minister Nicholas Goche, Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, Education minister Lazarus Dokora, Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and Minister of State for Special Affairs Flora Bhuka failed to make it into the politburo.

Some of the ministers have been in cabinet for many years and had close working relations with top civil servants and parastatals bosses, most of whom were appointed through Zanu PF’s patronage system.

The state media has of late accused several parastatals and senior civil servants of facilitating shady deals to benefit Mujuru’s allies. These include Grain Marketing Board boss Albert Mandizha and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development secretary Ringson Chitsiko who are accused of allegedly importing 52 000 tonnes of GMO+ maize from South Africa recently at a cost of US$180 per tonne and selling it to millers at US$390 per tonne.

Last week Deputy Energy minister Munacho Mutezo and Zesa officials were accused of abusing the parastatal’s funds by giving about US$40 000 to Manicaland Zanu PF’s Women’s League ahead of its conference in August to boost Mujuru’s bid to oust Mugabe.

Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa lead factions embroiled in an acrimonious fight to succeed Mugabe.

3 thoughts on “Senior civil servants close to Zanu PF chefs fear backlash”

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  2. It is incumbent upon the President through the Civil Service Commission to clean out the public service, parastatals and state owned enterprises of all elements involved in corrupt activities, stealing and sabotage. This is the only way the povo can have confidence in their Government. The Mujuru cabal had gone too far in causing despondency amongst the rank and file of the voters. 2014 is ending with a big bang!

  3. Wilbert Mukori says:

    To say that the civil service, security sector, parastatals and many, many other sectors of the Zimbabwe society had not been politicised is to deny day is day. All those working in these bod-ies and institutions got their jobs because of their political connections and not what they know. And so if your political mentor has been purged it is almost certain that you too are next for the chop, especially these days when of serious economic meltdown when there so, so many chasing very few jobs.

    The civil service and all these institutions are over manned and so there are going to be deep cuts, this is “load shedding” Mugabe’s style. Needless to say that those without their man or woman at the high-table are almost certain to get the sack.

    The irony is all those now worried about their jobs today have all these years seen nothing wrong with the politicisation of every facet of Zimbabwe society! Many of them have played a very active role in creating and perpetuating this corrupt and wasteful political system all these decades. It is good that they should have a chance to taste a bucketful of their medicine!

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