By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed Zanu PF’s representative in the UK and Europe Nick Mangwana as new secretary for Information.
Mangwana takes over from long-serving George Charamba who was last month elevated to the shadowy position of Deputy Secretary to the President and Cabinet in charge of Presidential Communications.
Zimbabwe’s media landscape remains a minefield for journalists and Mangwana has the unenviable task of untangling a dangerously polarized industry and turning the State media to a public media that serves the people.
In a short statement after the appointment Monday, Mangwana said he was humbled by the appointment, as Mnangagwa continues his painstaking job of putting together a bureaucracy that reflects his vision and a thrust that is different from predecessor former President Robert Mugabe.
“I am honoured and humbled for the opportunity to serve my country in this new role. I want to thank the President for his confidence in my abilities to deliver the government’s message and policies,” said Mangwana.
He said he would want to use his position to help with Mnangagwa’s efforts to return Zimbabwe to the international fold after years of isolationist policies by Mugabe that turned the country into a pariah.
“The Ministry of Information is a media enabler and not it’s adversary. Working with Hon Minister (Monica) Mutsvangwa and her Deputy Minister Hon (Energy) Mutodi we will build alliances as we frame the national narratives.
“Engagement and Re-engagement are at the centre of the President’s policies. That does not only apply to Zimbabwe’s foreign relations, but it applies to Zimbabwe’s relationship with all its stakeholders which include foreign and local media as well as that which is hosted online,” the new permanent secretary said.
“Everyone has a role in selling the correct brand of the Zimbabwe we have, the Zimbabwe we want and the Zimbabwe which will meet our national aspirations.”
Mangwana hold several qualifications which include nursing, accounting, corporate governance, law and media.
He worked as Zanu PF’s face and voice in the UK and shot to prominence through writings in the State media where he remains a columnist.
He was also heavily involved in sprucing up the image of the military coup that brought Mugabe’s rule to a dramatic end in November last year and was a co-founder and former administrator of Mnangagwa’s social media platforms.
Mangwana was also involved in Zanu PF’s campaign as part of the ruling party’s media team.