By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Friday gazetted the nomination of top diplomat, Frederick Shava as Senator for Midlands province to pave his way for taking oath as the new Foreign Minister.
Most Zimbabweans were recently shocked when Shava, who is currently serving as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was appointed Foreign Minister by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He replaced the late Sibusiso Moyo who succumbed to Covid-19 last month.
However, Shava could not take oath of office as minister as his new appointment had to be regularised first in terms of the Constitution.
ZEC also notified the nomination of Dorothy Mabika as a Zanu PF Senator for Manicaland province. She replaces the Ellen Gwaradzimba who also died after testing Covid-19 positive last month.
Both Moyo and Gwaradzimba were conferred national hero status and are interred at the National Heroes Acre.
Gwaradzimba was also the Manicaland provincial minister and Mnangagwa has since appointed Nokuthula Matsikenyere for that post.
In a notice published in a Government Gazette Friday, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba confirmed Zanu PF had nominated Shava and Mabika to fill two vacancies in the Senate.
“The public is hereby notified, in terms of section 39(6) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], that Zanu PF has nominated Frederick Makamure Shava and Dorothy Mabika to fill the vacancies in the Senate that occurred following the death of the incumbent Members of the Senate Subusiso Busi Moyo and Ellen Gwaradzimba,” the notice reads in part.
However, Shava’s appointment as Foreign Minister, has been met with disparaging remarks from ordinary Zimbabweans and opposition politicians as he was once convicted for corruption while serving as a government minister.
In the early 1980s, Shava was one of several government ministers who were implicated of corruptly buying vehicles from the state-owned Willowvale Motor Industries before reselling them at double the market value in a scandal named ‘Willowgate’.
He was convicted and sentenced to nine months in prison but was acquitted by the then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe after spending only one night in prison.
He was then posted as a top diplomat to China and the UN.
However, Zimbabweans feel it was improper for Mnangagwa to reappoint Shava as minister in his Cabinet.