Dr Gatsha Mazithulela

Dr Gatsha Mazithulela is a Zimbabwean academic and the deputy director-general of the Central Intelligence Organisation. He is a member of the National Defence University Council and chairman of the National Authority of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Zimbabwe Chapter.

Background

Age

Mazithulela was born in 1971.[1]

Education

Dr Gatsha Mazithulela did secondary education in Bulawayo and was among the 270 pioneers at NUST when the institution opened in 1991.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) in biology and biochemistry in 1994 and received a Rockefeller Foundation doctoral scholarship to study genetic engineering at the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom.

Dr Mazithulela graduated with a PhD in genetic engineering at the age of 27 and worked in the US and the UK. He obtained an MBA in London.

He was the first NUST graduate to obtain a PhD in 1998 after accepting a challenge from the institution’s founding Vice-Chancellor Phineas Makhurane.

He holds an MBA in the valuation of new technologies using real options in financial mathematics.

Listed among his achievements are the Fogarty Aids International Training and Research Scholarship at Johns Hopkins University in the United States (2004), Rockefeller Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship (1995 to 1998), a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Nottingham, and postdoctoral scientist at DuPont Incorporated in the USA.

He was awarded support from the UK-South Africa Science and Technology Research Fund in 1997. His interests extend to current affairs and military strategy.[1]

Career

In August 2018, Gatsha Mazithulela was appointed National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Pro-Vice-Chancellor, in charge of innovation and business development.

He has served as an innovation manager for CSIR’s Biochemtek division, director of the South African Aids Vaccine Initiative at the South African Medical Research Council and managing director of Secure Plan Investment Limited in the UK.

Dr Mazithulela served as a board member for the Cape Biotechnology Trust, Anvir Biopharmaceticals (Pty) Ltd and as chairperson of Elevation Biotechnology (Pty) Ltd.

He also served as National Research Foundation of South Africa vice-president, Nuclear Technology Products (Pty) Limited, at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation corporate development consultant.

He returned to Zimbabwe and became a farmer in the Matabeleland region.

Dr Mazithulela worked in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) as a principal director and also worked in former NUST Vice-Chancellor, the late Professor Lindela Ndlovu’s office.

In 2013, Mazithulela was appointed a special interest councillor by the then Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, but a city resident blocked the appointment through the High Court.[2]

He served briefly as an Acting Permanent Secretary for the then Ministry of Economic Development and Investment Promotion under Simon Khaya Moyo in 2014 after his stint at the OPC running the Senior Minister’s office.

He was re-appointed vice-chairperson of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone) following his appointment in 2015. He also chairs the Chemical Weapons Convention under the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Act 1998.

He also worked at Nust Technopark, a business development unit of NUST.[1]

On 16 January 2020, Gatsha Mazithulela was appointed deputy director-general of the President’s Department. He is a member of the National Defence University Council and chairman of the National Authority of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Zimbabwe Chapter.[3]

Events

On November 28 2020, a drunk Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent pointed a gun at Dr Gatsha Mazithulela.

Mazithulela was leaving his farm in Norwood in Umguza, Matabeleland North, at about 7PM when he allegedly observed Earnest Muleya, who was on guard duties at the property, staggering.

Suspecting the agent was drunk, Mazithulela demanded that Muleya hands over his AK47 assault rifle which he was carrying. Instead of handing over the rifle, Muleya cocked it and pointed it at Mazithulela who ran and took cover behind his vehicle before making a dash for his house where he barricaded himself inside.

Mazithulela called the CIO’s regional headquarters at Magnet House in Bulawayo and agents were dispatched to the farm.

They disarmed and arrested Muleya, who was not asked to plead to a charge of pointing a firearm when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Mjanja.[4]

Siphosami Malunga Farm Grab

On 19 June 2021, The NewsHawks reported that Gatsha Mazithulela and senior Zanu PF officials in Matabeleland North Province were behind the illegal seizure of a farm belonging to Siphosami Malunga and two of his business associates.

Investigations by the paper revealed that Mazithulela, Obert Mpofu and Richard Moyo were behind the plot to grab Kershelmar Farms (Private) Limited from its legal owners.

A worker at the farm told the publication that Mazithulela had told Malunga in 2020 that he would lose the farm because he was critical of Government. The worker said:

“Mazithulela has made it clear that he has an interest in grabbing the farm. He told Sipho (Malunga) sometime last year that government will seize the property because he is critical of government. Mpofu has also been here to the farm. So we have been under siege from Mazithulela and Zanu PF leaders in this region. This is clearly political. It has nothing to do with land reform.”

[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dr Mazithulela hired as Nust Pro Vice Chancellor, The Chronicle, Published: August, 2018, Retrieved: June 21, 2021
  2. Idah Mhetu, ED Appoints Jestina Mukoko’s Abductor CIO Boss, NewZimbabwe, Published: January 16, 2020, Retrieved: July 12, 2020
  3. UPDATED: Mazithulela, Tapfumaneyi appointed deputy DGs, The Chronicle, Published: January 16, 2020, Retrieved: June 21, 2021
  4. SIPHO MABUZA, ‘Drunk’ CIO agent brandished AK47 at terrified boss, court hears, ZimLive, Published: December 2, 2020, Retrieved: June 21, 2021
  5. Owen Gagare, CIO big shot behind Malunga farm grab, The NewsHawks, Published: June 19, 2021, Retrieved: June 21, 2021