PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday appointed veteran politician and Masvingo senator Shuvai Ben Mahofa as the new Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Masvingo.Mahofa, who turns 74 in April, replaces Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who was fired on Thursday last week for conduct inconsistent with his prescribed duties and functions.
The Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services said in a statement that the appointment was with immediate effect.
“The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr MJM Sibanda has announced the appointment by His Excellency, the President, Cde RG Mugabe, of Shuvai Mahofa as the new Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Masvingo,” said the ministry.
“The appointment is with immediate effect.”
Mahofa is not new to government as she served in different capacities since independence in 1980.
She once held the position of Deputy Minister of State for Political Affairs in the President’s Office, Deputy Minister of National Affairs, Employment Creation and Co-operatives and Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation.
Mahofa also held several positions in Zanu-PF and the party’s Women’s League and before she became Senator for Masvingo in 2013, she had served for a number of years as the legislator for Gutu South constituency.
She started her political activism in the late 1950s during the times of the National Democratic Party and went through Zapu and later Zanu.
During the liberation war, she was a war collaborator.
The appointment of Mahofa is expected to move forward government programmes in Masvingo which had been stalled by factional politics that were being promoted by Bhasikiti.
The firing of Bhasikiti last week brought to 17 the number of ministers and deputy ministers who have been dismissed since December last year along with former Vice-President Dr Joice Mujuru on allegations of reneging on their government duties for putschist factional activities.
The ministers were accused of expending their time and energy on alleged graft and putschist politics through which they sought to topple President Mugabe using unconstitutional means, including possible assassination.
In December last year, the Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial executive recommended the withdrawal of Bhasikiti from the Politburo over his role in a plot to topple President Mugabe.
Bhasikiti was also implicated in the promotion of factionalism in Masvingo and protecting Western-linked companies suspected of being involved in attempts to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.