President Emmerson Mnangagwa has fired Energy Minister Fortune Chasi and replaced him with a Zanu PF legislator, a week after he suspended Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority executive chairperson, Sydney Gata.
In a statement signed by Cabinet secretary, Misheck Sibanda, Mnangagwa said Chasi was fired in terms of some provisions of the Zimbabwe Constitution. He did not elaborate on circumstances leading to his sacking.
The statement read in part, “In terms of Section 104 (1) of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 His Excellency the President Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has appointed Hon. Soda Zhemu Member of Parliament for Muzarabani North, as Minister of Energy and Power Development in place of the current minister Hon. Advocate Fortune Chasi. The latter has been relieved of his ministerial post in terms of Section (108) 1a of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 as his conduct of Government business had become incompatible with the President’s expectations.”
Chasi last Thursday suspended Gata and the entire ZESA management and urged the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate Gata, who is accused of allegedly converting five company vehicles to his own use, throwing a $10 million Christmas party and setting up of an unsanctioned gold mining trust.
Gata accused Chasi of meddling in ZESA affairs and for allegedly spending thousands of dollars donated by the parastatal on foreign trips. Chasi has not yet responded to these allegations though he is quoted by some media organizations, including the state-controlled Herald newspaper, as saying the use of funds donated by sister ministries for foreign trips is standard practice in Zimbabwe.
At the same time, Sibanda also announced the the president has appointed Dr. Anxious Jongwe Masuka as Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister. He replaces the late Retired Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, who died ot COVID-19 recently in Harare.