Search for commissioners begins

HARARE - Parliament is currently interviewing individuals shortlisted to serve in the country’s independent commissions amid widespread criticism that the bodies are often toothless.

Interviews for the human rights, electoral, gender and national peace and reconciliation commissions which started on Monday are still underway although government is on record saying it has no capacity to sustain them financially.

Lawyer and Zanu PF MP Jonathan Samkange has also suggested that human rights-related commissions such as the National Healing and Reconciliation and Gender commissions be bundled together under the Human Rights Commission, regardless of the provisions of Chapter 12 of the Constitution for the commissions’ appointment.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, said government had resolved to effect significant changes to the Constitution because it was bleeding Treasury through an expanded government.

Parliament has, however,  invited  former  ministers, board chairpersons, lawyers, ambassadors and educationists, among others for interviews.

- Prominent among the candidates is former deputy Health minister Tsungirirai Hungwe-Chimbunde who was shortlisted for the Gender Commission.

Hungwe-Chimbunde who was deputy minister in the 1990s reportedly became one of the five oldest learners in Africa after she graduated with a degree in Reproductive Health and Family Sciences from the Women’s University in Africa in 2005 at the age of 72.

- Chad Gandiya, the Anglican Diocese of Harare of the Church of the Province of Central Africa was shortlisted for the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

Gandiya was elected to the post in 2009 and was consecrated on July 26, 2009 in Harare succeeding Sebastian Bakare.

He made headlines after he successfully appealed against court rulings that favoured the excommunicated Nolbert Kunonga.

- Also making the list of candidates is Emmanuel Magade, the Dean at the University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Law.

Magade is known in the legal fraternity for challenging the-then Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa in 2010 for making “ridiculous claims” that UZ was producing half-baked lawyers.

Chinamasa  said this in his submission to the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, accusing the lecturing staff of engaging in politics and describing the quality of  their product as “dismal”.

But in a hard-hitting response, Magade, said the claims by Chinamasa came as “a bolt from the blue” and were “ridiculous” as Chinamasa was a product of the same faculty himself.

- Another notable candidate is Damiso Choice who was nominated for two commissions, the Human Rights and Gender Commissions.

Choice is a senior lawyer and academic and a Research Fellow with Centre for  Applied Legal Research.

She is also a law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and has previously worked  as a project legal consultant for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), as well as counsel to the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Over and above that she has also worked as undersecretary for policy and legislation in the ministry of Home Affairs, and as administrative officer in the ministry of Local Government.

- Rukudzo Murapa, another nominee is former vice chancellor of Africa University.

He also served as the United Nations senior regional advisor to the department of economic and social affairs from 1994 to 1998.

- Former Welshman Ncube-led MDC director of policy and research, Qhubani Moyo has been shortlisted for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Moyo, who has since quit the opposition for the ruling Zanu PF is also the founder of Bulawayo community radio station Radio Dialogue and is currently a lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology.

- Other candidates include Nyepudzai Nyangulu (Gender commission), the executive director of the National Investments Trust in the 1990s who also served as the chairperson of the traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe.

- Chakanyuka Karase, chief executive of Flyafrica is shortlisted for Zec while Obert Matshalaga, a retired senior civil servant from ministry of Finance and former consultant with the World Bank is set for the Gender Commission.

He served two terms as an MP and was also deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs.

- Former vice chairperson of the Anti- Corruption Commission of Zimbabwe and council member of the Midlands State University Council Rutendo Wutawunashe is also earmarked for Gender.

She is a medical doctor and a member of Worldwide Family of God Churches; she is the president of Gemstone Resource Centre.

- Also on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is Sibusisiwe Bango who has since 1999 been the executive director of Empretec Zimbabwe.

She is former chairperson of Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited.

- Spirit medium Luta Shaba, a candidate for the same commission is a lawyer by profession and the founding executive member of Women’s Trust.

- Also notable on the list is Simbi Mubako, a former High Court Judge and ambassador of Zimbabwe to the United States of America together with Goodwill Shana who is the senior pastor at Word of Life International Ministries.


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