Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe creates cyber ministry in cabinet reshuffle

HARARE    – Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe moved Patrick Chinamasa from the finance ministry on Monday to lead a new cyber security ministry that will focus on crimes on social media and other websites ahead of an election due next year.

Chinamasa will be replaced at the treasury by Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo in a cabinet reshuffle that also diminished the role of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, seen as a potential successor to Mugabe.

Chombo’s move, announced in a government statement, comes against the backdrop of a severe hard currency shortage that has dealt a fresh blow to confidence and investment in the southern African economy, which uses the U.S dollar.

Chinamasa was appointed finance minister after Mugabe’s re-election in 2013 and his move to head the new Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation was unexpected.

Its creation comes after Chinamasa said last month the government would now treat social media as a security threat after accusing users of spreading rumours about shortages of basic goods, which caused panic buying and price increases.

The government has been uneasy with social media after activists such as pastor Evan Mawararire and his #ThisFlag movement last year used social media to organise a stay-at-home demonstration, the biggest anti-government protest in a decade.

Government critics took to Twitter deriding Chinamasa as new “minister of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp affairs”.

Chinamasa, a lawyer by training, will also be responsible for bringing to parliament a long awaited cyber crimes bill that criminalise false information posted on the internet, revenge porn, cyber-bullying and online activity against the government.

CASH CRUNCH

Meanwhile Chombo, who does not have a finance background and is a staunch Mugabe supporter who comes from the 93-year-old leader’s rural home district, was the surprise pick for minister of finance.

He will have to contend with a serious shortage of foreign currency that has seen U.S. dollar bank balances lose value against cash dollars, fanning a thriving black market.

The worthless Zimbabwe dollar was replaced by the U.S. dollar in 2009 but the economy has struggled over the past 18 months because of a massive domestic shortage of greenbacks.

As a result, cash, especially crisp, new, $100 bills, has enjoyed a steady 10 percent to 20 percent premium over dollars stored electronically in bank accounts – nicknamed “zollars” – meaning people have to transfer more than face value to the person selling the dollars on the black market.

When Mugabe said on Saturday he was going to review the performance of his ministers, speculation was rife that Mnangagwa, who said last week he had been poisoned in August, would be among the casualties.

Mnangagwa has come under attack from a ruling party faction that accuses him of seeking to force Mugabe to resign in his favour. The ZANU-PF is divided into two camps, one supporting Mnangagwa to succeed him and another rallying behind First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Mnangagwa, who denies the accusations, lost oversight of the Justice Ministry to the head of Zimbabwe’s spy agency Happyton Bonyongwe.

Bonyongwe, a retired army general who headed the national intelligence agency for 15 years, will be responsible for new legislation and will supervise the election due next year, including determining which foreign observers to invite.

Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, has said he plans to run for another 5-year term next year, his last under the constitution, when he will be 94.

In total, 10 cabinet ministers changed posts while two were dropped entirely.(Reuters)

MTN News Alert
DMON
To receive our mobile newspaper on MTN delivered on your phone, text SAWD to 4900 at N50 per week or SAMD to 4900 at N150 per month.
For information on press releases, photos, promotional events and adverts, call or send text to 08173460599 or 08094208271or send email to: info@sundiatapost.com

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Sundiata Post Media Ltd.

Address: 3rd Floor Office Suite, Bayelsa State Guest House, Plot 1038, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria.
Tel: +234(0)92900705, +234(0)8173460599
Whatsapp: +234(0)8053069436
BBM PIN: 5619150D
Email: info@sundiatapost.com
Website: www.sundiatapost.com

Enugu Regional Office: SW 1 New Haven Shopping Mall, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Tel: +234(0)7062582838
https://twitter.com/sundiatapost/

London Office: 18 Belgrave Avenue, Wd18 7UE, Watford, United Kingdom.
Tel: +447417554143
Dubai Office: PAU Management Suite, Level 23 - Boulevard Plaza Tower 2, Emaar Boulevard,
P. O. Box 124342, Dubai, UAE.
Tel: +971 4 4096849 | Fax: +971 4 409 6850
About Us

SundiataPost is published by Sundiata Post Media Limited, Sundiata Post is Nigeria’s most authoritative online newspaper and ranks among the top five online news platforms in Nigeria.

Guild of Corporate online publishers
ACCREDITED MEMBER
A Glance at Our Advert Rate.

Inside Pages

Size In Pixels - Amount

120×180 - N27,967.50

300×100 - N24,695

Text Link - N11,275

More Details info

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Advert Rate