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Permanent secretary defies Mnangagwa on foreign trip



MINISTRY of Information Communication Technology (ICT) permanent Secretary Dr Beaullar Chirume (pictured) has torched a storm in government after she defied President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s directive that permanent secretaries should not travel out of the country with their relevant ministers or at the same time to avoid paralysing ministerial operations and crippling service delivery.

Official sources say Chirume travelled to Saudi Arabia with her minister Tatenda Mavetera for the Universal Postal Union Fourth Extraordinary Congress which started on Sunday and ended today.

This is a brazen defiance of Mnangagwa’s directive as she was not supposed to go there in line with the new directive.

Only recently, Mnangagwa directed that “no minister and permanent secretary can both be out of the country at the same time as this has negative implications on service delivery and general government business”.

“All members remain guided by the relevant circular on foreign travel. In this regard, no minister and permanent secretary can both be out of the country at the same time as this has negative implications on service delivery and general government business. Further, travel outside the country will be strictly limited to those programmes which are of strategic importance and contribute to our country’s national priorities,” Mnangagwa said.

The congress in the Gulf State was attended by 192 member countries to deliberate on global postal development issues.

The Universal Postal Union is a United Nations specialised agency which coordinates postal policies among members states and facilitates a uniform worldwide Postal system.
It is headquartered in the Swiss capital Bern.

Despite the new government policy that ministers should not travel with their permanent secretaries or be out at the same time, Chirume went with Mavetera, which is a brazen defiance of government policy. Not only did Chirume defy the policy, reports also say while Matevera is now back home, she will only be back on Monday.

While in Saudi Arabia, Mavetera posted on X (Twitter): “As the current Chairperson of the Pan African Postal Union (Papu) & Min of ICTPCS, I have a keen interest & huge zeal on the development of the postal sector around the globe.

“My emphasis is on ensuring that Zimpost and its ancillary services become the centre of e-commerce through digitisation. This requires great collaboration and coordination with other countries as goods move from country-to-country. It is imperative to note that the postal sector is not, contrary to misconception, dormant, but undergoing robust transformation through new, exciting, even disruptive technologies and innovations facilitated by the magic of digitisation.

“We should, therefore, thrive on enhancing e-commerce, digital financial services, and overall digital technology. This will surely promote efficiency and traceability of postal & courier services as we move towards our desired digital economy & and the achievement of Vision 2030.

“I am therefore, through my ministry, excited and geared to unlock untapped opportunities presented by a digital postal system for the betterment of Industry, commerce, consumers and especially our underserved rural areas.”

Government officials jostle for foreign trips as they use them as holiday opportunities and for lucrative allowances.

Chirume was appointed last year in May by Mnangagwa, in terms of Section 205(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe of No. 20 of 2013 as amended, as the permanent secretary for the ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.

Chirume took over following the retirement of Engineer Samuel Kundishora on 31 December 2021.

Chirume holds a Higher National Diploma in Systems Analysis and Design, a National Diploma in Business Computer Programming and a National Diploma in Information Processing. She also has a Master’s Degree in Business Management and PhD in Information Communication Technology and Multimedia Studies.— STAFF WRITER.

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