Mushohwe under fire
YOUTH, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, Christopher Mushohwe, has come under fire for dragging his feet over the appointment of new boards at the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC).
Information obtained by the Financial Gazette shows that old board members at both NIEEB and ZYC have continued running the affairs of the two organisations, well over a month after their terms of office expired.
The boards have three-year tenures each with the current boards, mainly comprising ZANU-PF functionaries, having been appointed in 2012.
The law empowers the minister to handpick board members for appointment.
Delaying appointing new boards have particularly caused confusion at NIEEB, with board members expressing divergent views on the status of their terms of office.
“I do not know if our terms have expired or not. I will have to check when we were appointed and when we are supposed to be out of office,” said one NIEEB board member interviewed by this paper this week.
Another board member said their terms will only expire on August 31, insisting that they were still in charge of the organisation’s affairs.
But some of their colleagues confirmed that their terms expired on June 30, adding that they were in the dark as Mushohwe was choosing to play his cards close to his chest.
More confusion reigns at ZYC.
A ZYC board member said their chairman, Admore Jokwiro, shocked his colleagues when he accepted to officiate at the Day of the African Child commemorations last month despite the fact that their terms of office had expired.
“It is true that our terms of office have expired and there has been lack of continuity at the parent ministry, owing to the frequent change of ministers.
“So there has not been continuity between the appointing authority and the board.
“Right now we are not certain what direction the current minister will take,” said Jokwiro.
He also confirmed that the old board was still in control of the organisation.
Mushohwe ducked the matter when contacted by phone on Tuesday.
He initially complained that the line was bad, advising the Financial Gazette to contact him after an hour, but was later not answering subsequent calls.
Mushohwe was left clutching onto a ministry devoid of the clout it used to command previously after government hived off most of its critical functions, plunging its future into serious doubt.
The ministry was rendered powerless late last year after its main function of indigenisation and economic empowerment was struck off its brief, leaving it with only the youth portfolio and partially NIEEB.
The indigenisation portfolio had enabled previous ministers to wade into the affairs of other line ministries, especially those under the economic cluster, as they sought to compel all foreign-owned companies to comply with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.
This had often caused sparks to fly between successive indigenisation ministers and their colleagues in other line ministries who felt undermined by the intrusive nature of the arrangement.