Finance minister finally fires Lumumba; But Acie says dismissal a tactical move by Mthuli

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By Staff Reporter

FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube has been forced into a climb-down following a public outcry over what the appointment of controversial political activist Willian Mutumanje as Treasury communications czar.

The activist, better known as Acie Lumumba, was however unfazed by the development, taking to social media Tuesday night to claim that minister had actually made a tactical move which would allow him to speak out more freely.

The dismissal comes after Lumumba went on social media and accused senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) directors of corruption and illegal foreign currency dealing.

Central bank chief John Mangudya reacted by suspending the officials pending investigations.

Last Friday, minister Ncube announced that Lumumba had been appointed as chairperson a finance ministry communications task-force as authorities battled social media propaganda regarding its policies.

But internal disagreements in government and a public disapproval of the appointment seemed to have forced a rethink.

Former treasury spokesman Acie Lumumba

In a letter ending the arrangement, Ncube said he had received new information regarding the appointment.

“On the 19th of October 2018, you were engaged by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as chairman of the Ministry Communication Taskforce. New information has come to light over the appropriateness of the appointment.

“This letter serves as a notification of the termination of the contract with immediate effect,” said Ncube referring further question to Treasury permanent secretary George Guvamatanga.

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post Tuesday night, Lumumba admitted that Prof Ncube had been pressured into reversing the appointment after the ructions at the central bank.

He however, claimed that the dismissal was a tactical retreat which would actually me make him more effective for the minister.

“I understand why I was fired,” Lumumba said in a live Facebook broadcast.

“I was fired for one reason and one reason only and that is because minister Ncube realised I would be more effective outside government.”

He continued; “In the ministry I was limited; limited because I must liaise with the permanent secretary.

“But now I can talk about what’s really going on without worrying about getting fired. I’m going to tell you some secrets about what’s really going on.”