Supa Mandiwanzira

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Hon.
Supa Mandiwanzira
Supa Mandiwanzira Photo
Supa Mandiwanzira (Photo credit: The Chronicle)
Minister of Information Communications Technology, Postal and Courier Services
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 2014
Preceded by Webster Shamu
Member of Parliament Nyanga South
Incumbent
Assumed office
August 2013
Personal details
Born Supa Collins Mandiwanzira
(1972-09-18) September 18, 1972 (age 44)
Sakubva, Mutare
Nationality Zimbabwean
Political party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF)
Spouse(s) Ruth Mandiwanzira nee Sibanda
Residence Harare
Education *Harare Polytechnic
  • City University of London
Occupation
  • Journalist
  • Politician
  • Businessman
Profession Politics

Supa Collins Mandiwanzira is a Zimbabwean politician, journalist and entrepreneur. He is the current Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services in the Republic of Zimbabwe. Mandiwanzira is the founder of Zimbabwe's only privately owned radio station, ZiFM Stereo through his company, AB Communications. An internationally acclaimed journalist, Mandiwanzira rose to national prominence in the 2000s when he became the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Reuters correspondent.

He is known for having hosted business shows on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC-TV) such as Talking Business With Supa. Following his party, the ZANU-PF's victory at the July 2013 elections, Mandiwanzira was appointed Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. Mandiwanzira is a past president of the black empowerment organisation, the Affirmative Action Group (AAG).

Background

Mandiwanzira was born on 18 September 1972 in Mutare's Sakubva Suburb in the Manicaland Province. He has been married to his wife Ruth since 1998 and they have 3 children; 2 girls and a boy. He trained in journalism at the Harare Polytechnic in the early 90s.[1] Mandiwanzira has a Masters Degree in International Journalism (City University of London).

Journalism career

He started his career working for the Zimpapers owned Manica Post in his home city, Mutare, in 1992 but left to go and study journalism at the Harare Polytechnic. In 1994, after completing his studies, he got a job at the The Herald, another Zimpaperss owned publication. In December 1995, Mandiwanzira got the opportunity to start working for the state-owned television, ZBC TV where he became popular to TV viewing Zimbabweans as a business reporter and news anchor.[1] Mandiwanzira was at ZBC for 5 years before moving to the UK where he worked for BBC World Radio service after obtaining a Masters Degree in International Journalism with the City University of London.[2]

Mandiwanzira became the London correspondent of Summit Television. The latter was a new business news channel based in South Africa. Mandiwanzira was then appointed managing director of the African Business Communications until 2002 when he became chief executive officer of Mighty Movies. Mighty Movies produced local TV shows such as Talking Business with Supa, MISS Tourism World 2006 (Tanzania) and other documentaries. Mandiwanzira then worked for South African broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa’s State broadcaster and Al Jazeera English, as the Zimbabwe correspondent.[3]

Affirmative Action Group (AAG)

Mandiwanzira was the president of the Phillip Chiyangwa founded Affirmative Action Group until October 2011 when members of the empowerment lobby organisation passed a vote of no-confidence Mandiwanzira's executive leadership group. Mandiwanzira's deputy at that time was controversial former Zanu-PF politician, Temba Mliswa. Mandiwanzira's executive was "accused of embarking on foreign trips that were not beneficial to the AAG and of using the group to defend personal interests that were not in line with the body's objectives."[4] In February 2015, Chiyangwa praised Mandiwanzira Mandiwanzira for his role in the AAG.[5]

Political career

Mandiwanzira has said he never thought he would become a politician, had been a strong admirer of Zanu-PF before joining politics. He said he had to respond to the call by the people of Inyanga, where he grew up, to represent them in parliament. Mandiwanzira is reported to have been invited by the Mutare community leaders there who thought he could use his influence to uplift the community through representing them.[6] In July 2013, he contested in his first ever political election on a Zanu-PF ticket. He was unchallenged at the primaries and ultimately won the Nyanga South parliamentary seat.[7] He was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Information (Jonathan Moyo's deputy).

Following the 6th Zanu-PF congress and the factional fights in which political heavyweights such as former vice president Joice Mujuru, Tendai Savanhu and Dzikamai Mavhaire were dismissed from the party, Mandiwanzira was appointed into the party's politburo, which is the highest decision making body outside of congress.[8]

Cabinet Minister

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In the same month of December 2014, Mandiwanzira was appointed Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, taking over from Webster Shamu who had apparently been in the wrong faction in the run up to the party congress.[9]

Positions Previously Held

  • Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity
  • Managing Director of the African Business Connections

Business Interests

Mandiwanzira is one of the owners of a local radio station Z FM Stereo which is the only privately owned radio station in the country. It is also belied that he owns a media company called Mighty Movies which produces films, music videos and commercial productions some of which are broadcast by on ZBC.

Videos

Supa mandiwanzira is interviewed by Afro Essence TV

Scandal

Borrowing government without Treasury approval

A report by the Auditor General revealed that Mandiwanzira broke the rules and got a $194,000 loan from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe which under his Ministry for the purchase of a vehicle. The report stated that,
"The Ministry got loans amounting to $10 million, $194 564 and $95 000 from POTRAZ for the acquisition of government’s shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe and purchasing of the Minister (Mandiwanzira) and Deputy Minister’s (Win Mlambo) vehicle respectively, without Treasury concurrence. These amounts were still outstanding as at the time the audit was concluded."
Mandiwanzira's Ministry did not provide documentary evidence to show that Treasury had given them authority to borrow from state owned enterprises. The report read,
"The ministry did not provide documentary evidence to show that they were given treasury authority to borrow from state owned enterprises. Since the amount of $58 888 relates to appropriation expenses by the ministry, the expenditure should be accounted for in the 2015 financial year. In addition, the ministry did not provide documentary evidence on how it intends to account for the $10 289 564 for the purchase of shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe and the purchase of the Minister and Deputy Minister’s vehicles."
[10]

Trivia

  • There were rumours in the local media that Mandiwanzira lost his wife to the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila in the late 1990s. It appears that these stories were not true as Mandiwanzira was married to his wife Ruth since 1998.[11]
  • In 1994 he got the Zimpaper's Award for best journalism student.

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Supa Mandiwanzira Interview, Afro Essense Television, Published:31 May 2012, Retrieved:21 February 2015,
  2. Supa Mandiwanzira - Chief Executive, 'Mighty Movies', Published: 26 Nov 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
  3. Who is Who in Zimbabwe: Supa Mandiwanzira, 'Nehanda Radio', Published: 26 Nov 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
  4. Mandiwanzira, Mliswa clash at AAG meeting, The Herald, Published:24 October 2011, Retrieved:21 February 2015,
  5. Chiyangwa praises Supa for AAG role, Nehanda TV, Published:17 February 2015, Retrieved:21 February 2015,
  6. Moses Matenga, I am not a loser: Mandiwanzira, 'NewsDay', Published: 4 Jul 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
  7. Chinotimba, Supa Mandiwanzira sails through Zanu-PF nomination process, Bulawayo 24, Published: 17 June 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
  8. Tendai Mugabe President convenes extraordinary indaba, The Herald, Published: December 9, 2014, Retrieved: December 17, 2014
  9. H. Zharare, President Unveils New Ministers,The Herald, published:12 Dec 2012,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  10. AG: Supa Mandiwanzira gets $200K car loan from own parastatal, The Source, published: June 23, 2016, retrieved: June 24, 2016
  11. Mandiwanzira: I did Not Lose Wife To Kabila, 'News DzeZimbabwe', Published: 4 July 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014