‘I Was Appointed Minister By My Uncle Mugabe On Merit’-Patrick Zhuwao

MINISTER of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwao has said his appointment to Cabinet was on merit and had nothing to do with his relation to President Mugabe.

Zhuwao is nephew of the President and was appointed to Cabinet last month during a reshuffle that saw several ministers being re-assigned and others relieved of their duties. Presenting a public lecture on leadership at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo yesterday, the youthful minister said his credentials had earned him the Cabinet post.

“As I stand here before you I’m a leader because I run a whole ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

“Yes I’m a nephew to (President) Mugabe. That was an accident of birth and that does not make me a leader. There are those who are given to the idea that Zhuwao is a leader of links to the President. That is not the case,” he said.

Zhuwao explained how he landed the post, chronicling the journey he has travelled both as a politician and an entrepreneur, a journey he said had earned him vast experience to be able to lead the indigenisation portfolio.

“Why and how did I get to be a minister? A lot of you may want to know. I used to be an MP and Deputy Minister of Science and Technology. I lost primary elections and because I was not an MP I lost my ministerial post. The Constitution allows the President to appoint five ministers who do not hold any parliamentary seat. These people must have specific skills to execute assigned tasks. When the President invited me and told me that I was one of the five he was appointing me to Cabinet, I was overwhelmed and could not question. Out of the 14 million people in Zimbabwe, he recognised my special skill and appointed me minister,” he said.

Zhuwao added that he had vast experience with youth issues, having come through the Zanu-PF youth structures where at one point he was the national director. He described himself as a firm believer in the nationalisation of resources, and explained his role in coming up with the country’s economic blueprint Zim  Asset.

“I’m a member of the documentation and research committee in Zanu-PF which is in charge of compiling resolutions at conferences, resolutions which culminate in polices. I came up with the acronym Zim-Asset. Although crafting of the document was a collaborative effort I’m the one who suggested the name. I felt I should share with you this piece of information. This is where I come from to being appointed minister,” he said.

After addressing students at NUST, Zhuwao met businesspeople from Matabeleland region at the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) offices in Bulawayo to map empowerment strategies for local people.

The meeting was held as a forerunner to the inaugural Economic Empowerment conference penciled in for Harare on Friday.

Entrepreneurs from Matabeleland region will be selected to attend the conference and also make submissions on behalf of the region. The economic empowerment conference is the first step towards the crafting of an economic empowerment strategy which is expected to be complete by November this year. Participants urged the Minister to make sure that resources were spread across the country. Source: sundaynews

 – See more at: http://www.newzimbabwevision.com

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