Top cleric snubs Mnangagwa’s presidential advisory panel

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By Staff Reporter

THE secretary general of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has declined an invitation to join a newly established panel of advisors for President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The 26-member Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) was announced by the presidency Wednesday evening.

The council comprises captains of industry drawn from telecoms, tourism, infrastructure, health, media and financial services.

It is charged with helping Mnangagwa formulate key economic policies and strategies to advance Vision 2030, his ambitious drive to turn Zimbabwe into a middle-income country.

However, in a development which suggested some of the members may not have been consulted before inclusion on the panel ZCC’s Reverend Kenneth Mata said he could not be part of the team.

“It has been brought to my attention today that my name has been included on the list of individuals appointed to serve as members of the Presidential Advisory Council. The same has been announced on television,” Rev. Mata said in a statement.

“I feel really flattered to be invited to serve the nation and President in such a role in a moment as this. My current position will however limit effective functioning in such a huge role. I have therefore humbly withdrawn my name.

“The President will be fully briefed on my commitment to the nation building agenda and will support his efforts in other ways within my capabilities.”

Rev Mata has been spearheading efforts by the ZCC to facilitate national dialogue between the country’s feuding politicians and civic society organisations.

“The church has a solution to proffer but, those with other views or ideas to resolve the country’s problems were welcome to table them,” the cleric told journalists at a recent media briefing.