George Charamba

From Pindula
George Charamba
George Charamba
BornGeorge Charamba
(1963-05-04) May 4, 1963 (age 56)
ResidenceHarare
NationalityZimbabwe
CitizenshipZimbabwe
Occupation
  • Civil Servant
Years active1984 - Current
EmployerGovernment of Zimbabwe
OrganizationMinistry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services
Known for
  • Spokesperson of the President of Zimbabwe
  • Being the person behind the nom de plume Nathaniel Manheru
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s)Idaishe Olivia Charamba

George Charamba is the Press Secretary in the Office of the President of Zimbabwe. He is therefore there official spokesperson of the president. He has been in this position since 2000 when he was appointed by President Robert Mugabe

Charamba has been a columnist in the government controlled Zimpapers publications under the name Nathaniel Manheru. Through the column, Manheru attacked opponents of Zanu-PF as well as political opponents inside the party.

In November 2017, Charamba was reportedly part of the Constantino Chiwenga-led military plotters who staged a military coup that forced late President Mugabe to resign from the presidency.

In October 2019, Charamba reportedly deleted his Twitter account @jamwanda2 after the account posted a link to pornographic website.[1]

Personal Details

4 May 1963 - Born

No other information was found on his place of birth, or family.

Education

He holds a degree in English from the University of Zimbabwe. He was also awarded the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening Scholarship and completed a Masters in Journalism/Media Studies at Cardiff University.

Events

Charamba as Nathaniel Manheru

It was reported that Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, started the column which writes politically charged articles in state owned publications.This was reported to have happened when Moyo was still in charge of the Information ministry, before handing it over to Charamba. However reports indicate that Moyo was the first person who disclosed that Charamba was Nathaniel Manheru before the Information ministry’s permanent secretary confirmed it himself as he paid tribute to the late Dick Chingaira, aka Cde Chinx, when he was addressing mourners in June 2017.

The column was reported to have been used to attack political opponents both inside and outside Zanu-PF. [2]However Charamba repeatedly denied that he is Manheru, but has defended the use of assumed names in the press and has reported that he wishes that Manheru continues to write the column:

Firstly, I am not Manheru. However, do you know why people use pseudonyms? It’s in statutes. It’s done so that readers don’t concentrate on who the writer is, but the arguments being put forward. Whether the writer is a coward or a courageous man doesn’t matter. Whether people respond with anger, civility or what, it does not take away the arguments. Whoever this Manheru is, I pray for him to continue talking.”[2]

Salarygate

In the Premier Service Medical Aid Society salaries scandal that came to be known as Salarygate Charamba, as a board member, was said to have contributed to approving the exorbitant salaries to be paid to Cuthbert Dube and to board members. He was also reported to have benefited himself by being paid an exorbitant board membership fee. His board fees were said to have been a total of US$109 397,50 in 2013, suggesting the failure to stop the mishap as he was reported to be heavily involved..[3]

Charamba admitted to only being responsible because they didn't “ask the right questions”. He didn't comment on his own benefits from the salaries.[4]

“I agree, this is why, in fact, if the requirement is that we resign today, we would, because we failed Zimbabweans; we failed PSMAS and if we have to justify our continued stay on the board. We must be seen to be taking appropriate remedial action, I really admit that on that particular score, we did not ask correct questions and for that reason, we deserve to be condemned,”[4]

Role in Zanu-PF Factionalism 2014 - 2017

Wrong Presidential Speech and arguments with Chris Mutsvangwa After President Robert Mugabe embarrassingly read the wrong speech during the official opening of parliament in September 2015, said to have been provided by Charamba, a harsh exchange ensued between War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa and Charamba.

Attack by Grace Mugabe In late July 2017,Grace Mugabe was reported to have openly told Charamba to concentrate on his job, and stop attacking ministers who are way more senior than him.

“George, iwe, you are below ministers, you have no right to quarrel with a minister. If a minister is victimising you, you should tell the President.”

Response to Jonathan Moyo On 28 January 2016, in an interview on ZiFM Stereo, Charamba who was believed to be siding with the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction during the period of Zanu-PF factional wars to succeed President Robert Mugabe, said in apparent reference to Jonathan Moyo:

“There are many sinister minds that speak in the name of the President, who are in fact successionists and it won’t be long before the headlines give you the story. Some have been meeting Nicodemusly with the People First, but they are still in Zanu-PF... Here are little men with absolutely no iota of history behind them thinking they can one day emerge as leaders of this country with their little minds thinking baldness is age, it isn’t... The Constitution of Zimbabwe is as clear as daylight. One tragedy of those little fellas, and I call them little fellas, they confuse media skills with social skills. They think you can scale up a political ladder by tweeting, who think when you manipulate one or two headlines, you have a social base for launching your stupid ambitions, they will come to grief, get it from me. [5]

Responding to the interview via Twitter, Jonathan Moyo said:

"George Charamba's media voices are no longer of a civil servant but of a politician in aid of a desperate faction. That's unacceptable!

Zanu PF had 2 factions. Mujuru's faction was expelled in 2014 & now exits in the media as PF. Thus only one faction remains the problem! Some of us with hard lessons on the 2004 tragedy of factions resisted the Mujuru faction not for the other faction but for Pres Mugabe!

George Charamba must not abuse his civil servant role as Info Perm Sec to serve successionists.That will be resisted as it was in 2014![6]

Sanctions Charamba is among the Zanu- PF leaders barred from visiting The United States of America and some countries in the EU on accusations of "undermining democratic processes" in Zimbabwe.

Reshuffle In September 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed new permanent secretaries, reassigned others and retired some others, under the Second Republic.

  • Deputy Chief Secretary-Presidential Communications: former Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba,
  • Secretary to the Service Commissions: Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe.
  • Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services: TBA.
  • Permanent Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education: TBA.
  • Permanent Secretary for Defence and War Veterans: retained by Martin Rushwaya
  • Permanent Secretary for Finance and EconomicDevelopment: George Tongesayi Guvamatanga
  • Permanent Secretary for Energy and Power Development: Gloria Magombo.
  • Permanent Secretary for Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development: Rudo Chitiga.
  • Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage: Melusi Matshiya.
  • Permanent Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development: Amos Marawa.
  • Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing: George Magosvongwe.
  • Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development: Fanuel Tagwira.
  • Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate: Ringson Chitsiko (retained).
  • Permanent Secretary for Health and Child Care: Brigadier-General Gerald Gwinji (retained).
  • Permanent Secretary for Industry and Commerce: Mavis Sibanda
  • Permanent Secretary for Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry: Munesushe Munodawafa (moving from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development).
  • Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare: James Manzou.
  • Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade: Judith Kateera replacing Joey Bimha.
  • Permanent Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Information: Onesimo Moyo.
  • Permanent Secretary for Communication Technology and Courier Services: Samuel Kundishora (retained).
  • Permanent Secretary for Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation: Thokozile Chitepo (former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry).
  • Permanent Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs: Virginia Mabiza (retained).

President Mnangagwa had also re-assigned senior officials who included permanent secretaries, principal directors and equivalent grades to other duties. Senior Officials: Ray C Ndhlukula, Pretty Sunguro, Washington Mbizvo, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach, Ambassador Nicholas Kitikiti, Willard Manungo, Prince Mupazviriho and Desire Sibanda. Officials: Abigail Shoniwa, Ambassador Grace Mutandiro, Sibusisiwe Zembe, Ambassador Mary Mubi, Ozias Hove, Clemence Masango, Eghpha Jokomo, Simon Masanga, Eria Phiri, Clifford Matorera, Innocent Tizora. Retired: Ngoni Masoka, Partson Mbiriri, Ambassador Joey Bimha, Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku, Tobaiwa Mudede, Ambassador Kelebert Nkomani, Ethel Mlalazi, Anne Knuth and Valentine Vera.

[7]


Personal Life

His second wife Idaishe Olivia Charamba died on 14 May 2017 at West End Hospital in Harare from liver complications. Charamba was once married to Rudo Charamba.

Abusing Wife

Charamba was accused of beating his then-wife Rudo in a domestic row over a missing gun. The issue was exposed by the editor of The Voice, Lovemore Mataire who described him as a “British agent” and “saboteur”. Mataire was reported to have said Charamba was a “double agent” and “liar” who gushed “stinking effluent”. Mataire claimed Manheru who is Charamba; indulged in “spousal abuse and other immoral activities”. Charamba had earlier described Mataire as a failed and incompetent editor who makes “spectacular political and editorial goofs”.

Charamba was said to have assaulted his wife on February 24, 2006, at their Mandara home after a gun dispute. It was reported that Charamba attacked his wife, Rudo, who had just been released from hospital at the time. This angered family members and government officials. The case was reported to have been reported at Borrowdale police station after relatives and friends intervened. Charamba was said to have in turn made a report at Highlands police station about a missing gun.

When asked for comment by The Standard, he referred queries to his lawyer Johannes Tomana who said:

“There was that matter by the police but the case was withdrawn. Check that with the wife (Rudo).”[8]

References

  1. Mnangagwa’s spokesman Charamba exits Twitter after porn video shame, ZimLive, Published:16 Oct 2019, Accessed: 16 Oct 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Richard Muponde, Ghost writer haunts ministers, The Southern Eye, Published: 5 August 2014, Retrieved: 2 Feb 2016
  3. Charamba paid over US$100 000, The Independent, Published: 7 February 2014, Retrieved 2 February 2016
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nduduzo Tshuma Salarygate: Charamba admits failure, Southern Eye, Published: 7 February 2014, Retrieved 2 February 2016
  5. Exclusive interview with George Charamba. ZiFm Stereo, Published: 28 Jan 2016, Retrieved: 30 Jan 2016
  6. Audio: George Charamba Blasts Jonathan Moyo And G40..., Newsvyb, Published: 29 Jan 2016, Retrieved 30 Jan 2016
  7. ED reshuffles permanent secretaries, The Herald, Published: 20 September 2018, Retrieved: 17 April 2020
  8. Charamba accused of assaulting wife, Standard, published: October 5, 2017, retrieved: May 16, 2017