Zimbabwe government dismisses Postal and Telecoms Authority board members

Zimbabwe government dismisses Postal and Telecoms Authority board members

The Zimbabwe Government has dismissed all the Board members of the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Potraz) over allegations of corruption, abuse of financial resources and poor governance, according to local sources. The Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, reportedly announced the dismissal of the board yesterday (2 July).

“It is clear that economic and efficient use of the authority’s financial resources is not being practised or promoted by the board,” Mandiwanzira was reported as saying.

He claimed there had been persistent and unnecessary travel to conferences and meetings by both the board chairman and board members.

According to local media sources, Mandiwanzira said that the board had sought Cabinet authority request for two board members to attend a seminar on “How to chair board meetings” for eight days from May 11-18, 2015 in the United Kingdom at a cost of more than $24,000. This request was blocked.

There were also requests to send two board members to attend the Universal Postal Union (UPU) council of administration for 26 days in Switzerland at a cost of more than $40,000, according to reports.

“Instead of concentrating on such travelling, the board should have been attending to strategic issues,” said Mandiwanzira.

Mandiwanzira  is a former journalist who combines his role as a government minister and senior figure in ruling party ZANU-PF with a business career which includes involvement in a range of media companies, as well as interests in mining, construction and property development. He also previously served as president of the Affirmation Action Group (AAG), a business lobby. When he left the AAG in 2011, he clashed with former deputy president Temba Mliswa, who alleged – in claims that are rather similar to those now levelled at the Potraz board – that some former members of the AAG executive had “embarked on foreign trips that were not beneficial to the AAG”.

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