Mugabe reshuffles state telecoms portfolio, cuts Chamisa’s power

8 Mar 2010

A dispute over the jurisdiction of government ministers in Zimbabwe’s telecoms sector appears to have been abruptly ended by President Robert Mugabe, who on Thursday allocated the administration of the Posts and Telecommunications Act to the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, reports Zimbabwean state-backed newspaper The Herald. According to Statutory Instrument 40 of 2010 published in the state’s Extraordinary Gazette on Thursday, Transport Minister Nicholas Goche will administer the Act – the main legislation governing the telecoms segment – alongside other laws. Furthermore, Statutory Instrument 62 of 2010, gazetted on the same day, said Nelson Chamisa, the Minister of Information Communication Technology, will not administer any Acts. Chamisa, a prominent figure representing the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which opposed Mugabe in national elections, is now left as ‘a mere implementer of directives’ according to other local newspaper reports. Goche is a high-profile politician from Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, and is a close ally of the President. The Transport Minister was also confirmed as being responsible for the District Development Fund Act, whilst another law, the Interception of Communications Act, is now being administered directly by the Office of the President and Cabinet as set forth in Statutory Instrument 49 of 2010.