Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) chairman Professor Gift Mugano, today resigned after a Twitter handle attributed to the board leader made comments on the government weekend-long decision to suspend mobile transfers.
A letter of the chairman’s resignation expresses that the comments made on the public media were viewed by “some sections of government as in direct conflict” with the role of a board member of a state enterprise.
“The decision to resign is built on a firm view that I believe that my contribution on the policy discourse is of primary importance which cannot be forfeited in favour of maintaining a micro role as the interim Chairman and Board member of ZISCO,” Mugano says.
Former Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu appointed Mugano as the interim board chairman of the defunct steel producer in September last year.
The government has always been worry of social media and has always threatened to arrest users on allegations of producing false information.
Mugano argues that policymakers in a number of times regularly took up his submissions.
“In any way, the Second Republic, in line with the provision of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on freedom of expression, which is outlined in the Transitional Stabilisation Programmes paragraph 1766, has opened the space for citizens which include commentators such as economists to freely express themselves,” he says.
“It is on the basis of the foregoing that I took a firm view that it is in the best interest of the country that I continue to provide uninterrupted and constructive views on various policies without any constraint for the interest of our beloved country.”
The Twitter handle attributed to Mugano says “Suspending mobile transfers which has become the defacto currency is synonymous to directing citizens to shun the local currency in favour of USD – dollarisation!”
This is followed by another one which says “Government of Zimbabwe makes a U turn on the suspension of mobile money transfer after sensing danger since 83% of the transaction on the national payment platform are through mobile money. The move was a recipe for an immediate economic collapse.”