|Born||Simon Kundai Musnhu|
September 21, 1967
|Died||January 15, 2015(aged 47)|
|Education||St Augustine's Penhalonga, University of Zimbabwe|
|Alma mater||University of Zimbabwe|
|Employer||Government of Zimbabwe|
|Organization||Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate|
|Home town||Mashonaland East|
|Political party||Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front|
|Children||Dadisai Musanhu, Simbarashe Musanhu|
|Relatives||Shepherd Musanhu, Didymus Mutasa (In-law - as related to his wife)|
Simon Kundai Musanhu was the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate in the Republic of Zimbabwe. He was promoted into cabinet in September 2013 by President Robert Mugabe after the harmonised July 31 elections which saw his party emerging as the winner. He was Member of Parliament for Hwedza North constituency in Mashonaland East Province. He belonged to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) party. He collapsed and died at his Greystone Park home in Harare on the morning of January 15 in 2015.
He was born on 21 September 1967. Musanhu attended St Augustine's Penhalonga in Mutare a famous mission school located in the Manicaland province of Zimbabwe. He also attended the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) where he studied civil engineering.
Musanhu was married to Emma and was said to be related to the ZANU PF former Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa who was ousted from both party and government in December 2014 at the height of factional fights. Musanhu was a qualified and professional civil engineer who was registered with the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe.
Simon was an Infrastructure Development Specialist, Engineering Consultant and Businessman with over 20 years of professional experience with local and international engineering firms. Musanhu had specialized experience in project design, resource mobilisation, feasibility studies, project structuring and contract administration. He was considered a recognised expert within the field of Engineering Project Management and under his leadership, SDP Africa grew to be one of Zimbabwe’s established consulting firms with offices in Botswana and South Africa. Below are the different positions he filled;
- Non executive director ; MMCZ Board of directors where he chaired the Audit and Risk Committee.
- Non executive director ; National Economic Empowerment and Indigenisation Board (NIEEB) where he chaired the Audit and Compliance Committee as well as the Sector Committee on Engineering & Construction.
- Non executive Chairman ; Mineral Development Pvt. Ltd. Board of Directors t/a Elvington Gold Mine, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Mineral Development Corporation (ZMDC).
- Non executive Chairman ; Shanghai Jinchuan Zimbabwe Corporation board, a mining joint venture Company with SJ Corporation of Shanghai, China.
Musanhu spent the better part of his professional career with SDP Africa Consulting Engineers from January 2000 to the time of his death. He specialised in areas such as;
- Civil & Structural Engineering.
- Project Development
- Municipal Asset Management
- Construction Management
- PPP Structuring
- Environment & Waste Management.
In July 2014, Musanhu faced a humiliating experience when the High Court issued an order instructing him to vacate the buildings he was lodging in Harare. Musanhu's company Craster Chickens Private Limited was operating at number 27 Craster Road in Southerton was ordered to pay more than USD $12 000 in holding damages for remaining in the properties long after the agreement had been terminated. Musanhu had signed a two year agreement with BSG Properties Private Limited. He however failed to pay rentals for some months resulting in the property owner terminating the contract.
Musanhu torched a storm in September 2014 when he publicly announced that the government was going to tax households which had drilled boreholes. He is alleged to have announced that he was in full support of borehole taxation by billing underground water consumption, which he said depleted the water table. His remarks attracted debate since the general public expected the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to issue an official statement regarding the issue.
At the height of factionalism in ZANU PF in 2014, Musanhu is alleged to have campaigned for the rise of the deposed former Vice President Joice Mujuru. The Mujuru faction is said to have boasted of support from the bigwigs including Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo who were both eventually demoted from their positions. The Sunday Mail reported that the late Deputy Minister was in constant contact with an unpopular American spy Eric Little who was also the key architect in the Zanu-PF Dirty Dozen scandal in 2014. It emerged that he was one of the people who featured on calendars made in Mashonaland East Province which featured only Joice Mujuru instead of President Mugabe. This raised suspicion that Musanhu was closely linked to the controversial politician Ray Kaukonde who also faced his fate in national politics. During the same period, party supporters demonstrated against Musanhu and called for his dismissal from the party. He was accused of being part of the group that was financing the Mujuru faction to topple Mugabe from power.
It was reported that Musanhu died after collapsing at his private offices in Belgravia. Notwithstanding this, it was also reported that Musanhu was poisoned and this subsequently led to his death. Musanhu was accused of being an ally of the Mujuru faction hence his death was attributed as his punishment. Three weeks before his death, Musanhu together with Nyasha Chikwinya were allegedly accused by members from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) for campaigning for Mujuru who was accused of trying to topple Mugabe. The CIO claimed that they had a secret tape in which Musanhu was supporting the assassination Mugabe.
It was also reported that Musanhu had calendars which he had distributed in his constituency and these calendars had his pictures as well as those of Mujuru. This was seen as one of his tactics to propel Mujuru's ascendancy. Musanhu tried to exonerate himself arguing that his rival Michael Madanhu, who was elected to be the MP for the Hwedza South constituency was the person who paid for these calendars without his consent.
Mnangagwa's conspicuous absence at Musanhu's burial further compounded the view that Musanhu was killed for supporting the Mujuru faction. Mnangagwa's secretary confirmed that his boss did not attend Musanhu's burial. She said,
Yes he didn't go to the burial but remember he is a busy man and had already gone to the funeral at the family house to pay his condolences, did you not notice
Whilst paying his condolences, Mnangagwa stated that Musanhu was a diligent and hard working young cadre whose contribution to the nation saw him being appointed to be the Deputy Minister in 2013. Other ZANU PF senior officials who attended Musanhu's funeral are Edna Madzongwe, Ignatius Chombo, Joel Biggie Matiza and Saviour Kasukuwere amongst others.
Musanhu's father, Mr Artwell Musanhu was shocked with his son's death. He was quoted saying,
I do not know what to do with my life, because he is the son who was taking care of me and the whole family. The family had two legs but now we are left with one leg. Who is going to bury me now
Relatives and friends of the deceased all showered praises to Musanhu explaining that he was industrious.
Despite this, Musanhu was accorded a state assisted funeral of which Mnangagwa claims that he facilitated this move after consulting Mugabe who directed him to accord Musanhu a state assisted funeral.
- , BREAKING NEWS, Deputy Minister Musanhu Dies,The Herald, published:15 Jan 2015,retrieved:16 Jan 2015"
- B. Chitemba, How Engineer Musanhu Campaigned for Dr Mujuru,The Sunday Mail, published:21 Dec 2015,retrieved:15 Jan 2015"
- , RENEWAL OF PRACTICING CERTIFICATES: 2015,ECZ, published:5 Dec 2014,retrieved:15 Jan 2015"
- F. Munyoro, Minister Ordered Out of Lodgings,The Herald, published:11 Jul 2014,retrieved:15 Jan 2015"
- S. Ngwenya, SHOCKING SERVICE DELIVERY SCAM AS ZINWA PREPARE TO BILL CITIZEN’S BOREHOLES,SunRiseto All, published:29 Sep 2014,retrieved:15 Jan 2015"
- Shiellah Sibanda, BREAKING NEWS: Minister Killed “Over Mujuru Secret Tapes”, Zim Eye, published:15 Jan 2015,retrieved:19 January 2015"
- George J. Mtasa, Mnangangwa Bunks Minister Musanhu’s Burial, Zim Eye, published:18 Jan 2015,retrieved:19 January 2015"
- Lovemore Mataire, State-assisted funeral for Musanhu, The Herald, published:17 Jan 2015,retrieved:19 January 2015"