PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made some shocking key appointments to the civil service, bringing in new faces as well as reassigning the old guard to new ministries as he bolsters his team.
The appointments, announced by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Martin Rushwaya, include new deputy chief secretaries, permanent secretaries and secretaries for provincial affairs and devolution.
Development assistance expert Thomas Utete Wushe is the new permanent secretary at the Industry and Commerce ministry, replacing Mavis Sibanda who was moved to the Women Affairs, Community Small and Medium Enterprises Development ministry.
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals chief medical officer Aspect Maunganidze is the new permanent secretary in the Health and Child Care ministry, taking over from Jasper Chimedza who has been shunted out.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe executive director Nicholas Moyo was appointed the new Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture permanent secretary, replacing Thokozile Chitepo, who has also been kicked out, while Moses Mhike is the new permanent secretary in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, replacing Tumisang Thabela who retired this year.
Another new face is Rudo Chitiga, a former ambassador to France, Portugal and Spain, and permanent representative to Unesco and also as a senior peace and security advisor for United Nations Women Zimbabwe. She was appointed as Skills Audit and Development permanent secretary.
Previously, she was the head of secretariat on harmonisation and standardisation of salaries and conditions of service within the public sector in the Office of the President and Cabinet
There is also Prosper Matondi who took over as permanent secretary in the Environment, Climate and Wildlife ministry.
Previously, he was the ministry’s chief director for environment, climate and metereological services.
Another new face is Takaruza Munyanyiwa, a former University of Zimbabwe pro-vice chancellor business development, who was appointed Tourism and Hospitality ministry secretary, while Solomon Mhlanga was appointed as the Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training permanent secretary.
Before the new appointment, he was permanent secretary for public sector reforms and performance management in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Clive Mphambela, who was the Finance and Economic Development spokesperson, was appointed Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs permanent secretary.
In a shock re-assignment, Mnangagwa moved John Basera to the Local Government and Public Works ministry as permanent secretary. He was replaced by academic Obert Jiri, who was promoted to permanent secretary from a director position in the Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Water and Rural Development ministry.
Former Law Society of Zimbabwe president Vimbai Nyemba took over as Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary, a role that was held by Virginia Mabhiza who was recently appointed Attorney-General.
Gloria Magombo and Ndavaningi Mangwana retained their roles at the Energy and Power Development, and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministries, respectively, while George Guvamatanga maintained his role at the renamed Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion ministry.
In the provinces, Harare Metropolitan permanent secretary for provincial and devolution affairs Tafadzwa Muguti was reassigned as secretary of Presidential Affairs in the Office of the President and replaced by Cosmas Chiringa.
Chiringa is a former Mutare district development co-ordinator.
Mnangagwa’s top ally George Charamba retained his post as Deputy Chief Secretary Presidential Communications.
The other Deputy Chief Secretaries in the Office of the President are Zvinechimwe Churu (Finance, Administration and Human Resources), who was moved from the Local Government ministry, Willard Manungo (Policy Analysis, Co-ordination and Development Planning), Paul Damasane (Social Services) and Amos Marawa (Co-ordination of National Programmes and Projects).