By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has inadvertently admitted he fired a competent minister, Fortune Chasi, who ensured the country had uninterrupted power supplies during his tenure.
Chasi was relieved of his duties as Energy Minister early this month.
However, addressing a gathering at a field day at Kunatsa Farm in Matepatepa, Bindura where a thriving wheat crop is ready for harvesting, Mnangagwa extolled Chasi’s virtues saying he worked hard to ensure there were constant power supplies, which in turn helped winter wheat farmers to produce good crops.
Ironically, in the letter of dismissal, and the subsequent statement, Mnangagwa said he was firing Chasi for conduct inconsistent with his expectations as president.
Chasi was replaced by little known Soda Zhemu, the MP for Muzarabani North.
The farm visited by Mnangagwa last Friday is owned by Douglas Munatsi, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA), and is located in Mazowe South constituency where Chasi, who was present at the event, is the local National Assembly representative.
“This time the situation has greatly improved because we had uninterrupted power supply because of the hard work by the young man Chasi who was the minister of Energy at the time and we are thankful about that,” Mnangagwa said, drawing jubilant applause from the small crowd gathered.
Chasi, as Energy Minister, improved power supplies in the country after Zimbabweans in 2018 were grappling with 18 hour-long load-shedding periods everyday.
Chasi’s sacking, which came as a surprise to many, has been subject to many theories, including that he may have been kicked out as a result of the enervating factional struggles playing out in Zanu PF and government.
Chasi is also believed to have been fired for trying to block lucrative and corrupt fuel deals involving fuel tycoon Kuda Tagwirei who allegedly has some measure of influence on Mnangagwa.
However, since the removal of Chasi, Zimbabweans have realised an increase in power cuts across the country.
According to ZESA, the power outages being experienced in the country are due to a technical fault at the Kariba and Hwange power stations.