Some Zimbabweans have expressed fury over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s appointment of ambassador Fredrick Shava saying he was involved in Willowgate scandal and Gukurahundi massacres.
Shava is a former cabinet minister in the Robert Mugabe-led administration who was involved in the Willowgate corruption scandal and was convicted of the charges.
Then-president, the late Robert Mugabe pardoned Shava and would appoint him an ambassador to China and then the United Nations.
Shava is the new minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, taking over from the Dr Sibusiso Moyo who succumbed to COVID-19 last month.
MDC Alliance Secretary for International Affairs, Gladys Hlatshayo Kudzayi said Shava is an ex-convict. She tweeted:
Zanu PF’s convicted fraudster, Fredrick Shava appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the late 1980s, he was fired as cabinet minister for looting cars availed through a subsidised vehicle scheme meant to benefit senior government officials. #DemLoot
The scandal involved ministers buying luxurious Toyota Cressida vehicles from the government-controlled vehicle assembler, Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries, and reselling them at inflated prices. He was arrested, tried and convicted of perjury. #DemLoot
Her remarks were echoed by MDC Alliance spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere who said thieves were in charge of the country. She said:
One of the busier participants [in the Willowgate Scandal], Minister of State Frederick Shava, who bought and sold so many vehicles that the Sandura commission criticized him for “behaving like a car dealer,” made about $70,000 in a year.
After his conviction, Shava was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment with no option of a fine, but Mugabe acted swiftly and issued a presidential pardon 24 hours later.
Shava in the late 80s was one of the Cabinet ministers who were arrested, tried & convicted of perjury in the infamous Willowgate Scandal. The scandal involved ministers who abused their positions to buy then luxurious vehicles from the government.
Zenzele Ndebele, a Bulawayo-based journalist nd activist was against the appointment for Shava’s remarks during the 1980s which he said encouraged Gukurahundi massacres. He said:
President Mnangagwa has appointed Frederick Shava, Zim’s ambassador to UN, as his new foreign minister. Speaking in parliament in the early 80s Shava once said “I advise strongly the Mini of State Security 2 demand from dissidents & dissident supporters 2 eyes for one, two ears for one & never turn the other cheek…Supporters of dissidents should be shot on sight. Mrs. Chinamano interjected: “Mr speaker this is the most desctructive… MR SPEAKER .. “on a point of order cde Chinamano will the minister continue please ..”
Laughter…Mr Shaba “I will repeat supporters of dissidents should be shot on sight they are as bad as dissidents”
In simple terms, a #Gukurahundist has been appointed minister of foreign affairs
Exiled former minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Professor Jonathan Moyo also echoed sentiments above suggesting that Mnangagwa was using nepotism, described as the “politics of homeboysm” by the late Political Science professor John Makumbe. He said:
President Mnangagwa has appointed his clansman & longtime sidekick, Frederick Shava, as foreign minister. With this appointment & that of Felix Mhona as transport minister, General Chiwenga is now the only coup soldier remaining in Cabinet, which is now full of Mnangagwa homies!
Yet, some applauded President Mnangagwa for the appointment:
A career diplomat. Has been there, East and West…good appointment. Level headed but robust at debating issues….