By Daniel Chigundu
MDC Alliance says Acie Lumumba (William Mutumanje) is not fit to hold a position in government as he is incompetent and has also publicly confessed to having abused public funds.
Lumumba was yesterday appointed the chairperson of a communication taskforce by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and part of his duties includes creating an environment of improved communication between the ministry and its stakeholders.
He is also responsible for fundraising for the activities of the task force and reports directly to Mthuli Ncube.
In a statement, MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Lumumba is arrogant and too partisan to lead government communication.
“Lumumba is a questionable character who even bragged of abusing funds on radio including on SABC. He is therefore not fit to be near treasury even as a sweeper.
“He also lacks the competency and is too arrogant and partisan to be a government communicator. Even if it was a different person, the Minister ought to have followed procedure.
“If the government wishes to hire a consultant there must be advertisements flighted in newspapers of national circulation. The best bid must be selected on merit which includes consulting integrity, experience and traceable references. The same should apply to the employment of individuals in public service,” he said.
Mafume added that it was iron that former Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is on trial for awarding consultancy work to George Manyere without going to tender, “the law must be applied similarly in this case.
“When a Minister who is supposed to lift the country from a position of lack of trust and confidence sets this wrong precedence it creates problems and complicates recovery,” he said.
Acie Lumumba rose to stardom in 2016 when he was booted out of Zanu PF and went on to form his own political party Viva Zimbabwe.
While announcing the launch of his party, Lumumba courted controversy when he told Robert Mugabe the F-word and even went on to threaten revenge on Mugabe’s kids.
In December last year, Lumumba was booted out of his party for furthering the interests of Zanu PF at the expense of Viva Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Mafume said the decision to create another government communication channel is a waste of tax-payers money as the government has many such channels that can be used.
“We also view the investment in propaganda machinery at the Ministry of finance as misdirected and a waste of tax-payers resource.
“Focus on economic revival, the citizens will see the results. The state has enough communication outlets and personnel,” he said.
Below are some Twitter reactions to the appointment:
Nonhlanhla Yalala: I was one fearless defender of Mthuli and now am left with egg on my face. Never again will I defend mwana wemumwe munhu. Ndaoedza he is on his own now!!!!!!
Alex Gonese: Social media nowadays shapes the narrative. Perhaps the minister wanted a social media strategy hence the appointment. Clearly, it would have been better if a respectable figure had been appointed. Acie has generated the kind of publicity that the minister doesn’t need
Scooberman: Having read about the poor corporate governance issues at Barbican & also Acie’s previous problems at StarFM & ZYC, then just learning that @MthuliNcube empowered @acielumumba to incur ‘reasonable’ expenses…No budget? From a person wanting us to swallow some austerity medicine
Tichaona zindoga: You appoint a Public Relations taskforce. Soon a Public Relations taskforce to do Public Relations on the Public Relations taskforce. Yet another PR task force may be needed to work on how someone appointed the Public Relations taskforce…just how comical it is!
Allen Dube: @acielumumba is now leading communications taskforce. What a joke😒
fidelis munetsi: That appointment is really shocking, the guy is really questionable and I have tried to listen to him, he just doesn’t make sense …@MthuliNcube it’s still not too late to reconsider
Denver Ncube: Jobs for the boys…who even knows where that Taskforce falls in the official functions/departments of the Ministry?
Happi Zengeni: Instead just employ a good PR. What you need is a good writer and an organiser and someone who understands finance enough to break it down to the public. But if you really need one then assemble one on merit. Pick from the available people who are well-versed in these matters.