Outspoken clergyman declines Mnangagwa advisory council appointment

Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary general has turned down his appointment to the newly formed Presidential Advisory Council owing to other commitments of national interest

Outspoken Zimbabwe Council of Churches(ZCC) secretary general Rev Kenneth Mtata on Wednesday evening declined an appointment by President Mnangagwa into the newly assembled 26 member Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) .

PAC was formed to advise and assist Mnangagwa in formulating key economic policies and strategies that advance Vision 2030 of transforming the economy into an upper middle class income.

Mtata said the appointment would limit his role as ZCC secretary general.

In a letter authored by Mtata on Wednesday evening, he cited that he was willing to serve the nation but he had a lot on his plate , all bent on championing nation’s development.

“It has been brought to my attention today that my name has been included on the list of individuals appointed to serve as members of the Presidential Advisory Council.

“The same has been announced on national television. I feel really flattered to be invited to serve the nation and President in such a role in a moment as this.current position will however limit effective functioning in such a huge role. I have therefore humbly withdrawn my name.President will be fully briefed of my commitment to the Nation Building agenda and I will support his efforts in other ways within my capabilities,” read the letter.

Mtata is an outspoken cleric who was very critical of former president Robert Mugabe’s administration which he at one time described as ‘poisonous politics’.

He also sits on the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network board (ZESN)- a position which speaks volumes on his active participation in the democratic processes in the country.

Meanwhile, Mtata’s rejection of appointment raise eyebrows as to whether Mnangagwa consulted any of the 26 individual appointed in that council.

In his letter Mtata noted that he learnt of his appointment via television news on State media.

This gives a high likelihood of some appointees withdrawing their names as they might have other pressing commitments.

The advisory council comprises experts and leaders drawn from diverse sectors like business, health and social protection, agriculture, governance and human rights, faith-based organisations, tourism, education, minorities, ICT, civic society, communication and media management.

Notable names include Alpha Media boss Trevor Ncube, Sakunda chief executive Kuda Tagwirei, top lawyer Edwin Manikai, Ecocash chief executive Natalie Jabangwe, businessman Busisa Moyo, Securico founder Divine Ndhlukula , hotelier and pastor Shingi Munyeza among others.