Mushohwe lashes back
YOUTH, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Christopher Mushohwe has hit out at critics who jumped at his throat for dragging his feet in appointing new boards at the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC).
Youths forming the NYC board and some members of the NIEEB two weeks ago gunned for Mushohwe, calling him an inept minister who was failing to efficiently execute his mandate.
They accused the minister of failing to either renew their terms of office or appoint new board members on grounds that their tenure had expired.
But an infuriated Mushohwe on Monday charged at them, dismissing their claims as lies.
He claimed instead that the terms of office for the boards will only expire on September 30.
“Those boards’ terms of office will only expire at the end of September. You were misinformed,” he said.
Asked why there has been such confusion, he charged: “You should be careful as newspapers not to be used by people with other agendas. Remember this is politics. Your informers might have a hidden agenda.
“How can they expect me to appoint new board members when we still have serving ones? I am not delaying the appointment. I am waiting for the expiry to happen and when it does, I promise you, you will be first to know.”
But despite Mushohwe’s take, some NYC board members were adamant that their terms of office had expired.
“I do not know what the minister is trying to achieve because our terms expired in June and for him to deny that is unfortunate,” one member who declined to be named said.
“No one has an issue against him at all. We are simply stating the truth. He should not see shadows where there are none,” another NYC board member said.
Mushohwe was left clutching onto a Ministry devoid of the clout it used to previously command, 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.