Supa Mandiwanzira (Photo credit: The Chronicle)
September 18, 1972
|Known for||Owning ZiFM|
Former Minister of ICT
Supa Collins Mandiwanzira is a Zimbabwean politician, entrepreneur, former government minister and former journalist. He is the former Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security 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. Mandiwanzira is the current member of parliament for Nyanga South. He contested in the July 2018 elections and won becoming Nyanga South Member of Parliament.
He is known for having hosted business shows on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC-TV) such as Talking Business With Supa. He is a member of the Zanu-PF political party. Following the July 2013 elections in which Zanu-PF won, Mandiwanzira was appointed Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. Mandiwanzira is a past president of the black empowerment organization, the Affirmative Action Group (AAG).
In early November 2018, Supa Mandiwanzira was arrested on two accounts of criminal abuse of office.
Mandiwanzira was born on 18 September 1972 in Mutare's Sakubva Suburb in the Manicaland Province. He got married to his wife Ruth in 1998 and they have 3 children; 2 girls and a boy. He trained in journalism at the Harare Polytechnic in the early 90s. Mandiwanzira has a Masters Degree in International Journalism (City University of London).
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 Zimpapers' 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. 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.
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 which he until 2002 when he became the chief executive officer of Mighty Movies which he now owns.
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.
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 a 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." In February 2015, Chiyangwa praised Mandiwanzira Mandiwanzira for his role in the AAG.
Mandiwanzira has said he never thought he would become a politician, however, he had been a strong admirer of Zanu-PF political party 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. 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. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Information (Jonathan Moyo's deputy).
Following the 6th Zanu-PF congress and the factional fights in which politicians 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.
In 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.
In July 2018 he contested in the elections. He won and became the Member of Parliament representative for Nyanga South. He was however dropped from his ministerial role in government in September 2018 when Kazembe Kazembe was appointed Minister of ICT in his place.
Positions Previously Held
- Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security (December 2014 - September 2018)
- Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity
- Managing Director of the African Business Connections
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 believed 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.
Borrowing from 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 the 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."
Mandiwanzira was reported to be investigated for corruption by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for allegedly handpicking Chinese firm to investigate Huawei. Mandiwanzira allegedly instructed NetOne to pay the company $4 million. This came after former NetOne Ceo Reward Kangai was reported to have submitted documents which showed Mandiwanzira as a director in Blue Nightingale Trading which has links with Megawatt Energy which Mandiwanzira allegedly tasked to carry out an audit into a NetOne deal without going to tender. Supa Mandiwanzira Being Investigated For $4 Million Corruption Scandal
It has been alleged that former Minister Supa Mandiwanzira is a shareholder of Univern. (Mawire, Gift. 2015. “Top Lawyer Sucked Into ‘Zinara’s US$8m Snow Graders’ Supa Scandal…Zim Tender Board Compromised.” PaZimbabwe, January 17)
Supa Mandiwanzira also appears to own a company named Tarcon, (Taruvinga, Mary. 2020. “Supa Mandiwanzira Ordered to Pay U.S.$279k for 7-Year Debt.” New Zimbabwe, January 20, and Newsday. 2018. “Mandiwanzira sued over $317 000 debt.” Newsday, November 1. 101. Ndoro, N. 2019. “ZACC renews investigations on Bvute, Mandiwanzira ‘ICT Cartel’ kingpins allegations.” Zim Morning Post, August 21) whose Board chairperson during the time the tender awards were made was Ms. Florence Ziumbe. (Tarcon Africa. n.d. Board of Directors. Accessed July 22, 2020. http://www.tarconafrica.com/index.php/about-us/leadership) At the time, Ms Ziumbe was also serving as the deputy chairperson at the [[State Procurement
Board]], (Share, F. 2015. “Major shake-up looms at SPB.” The Herald, January 6) which Board oversaw the awarding of tenders and had charged Univern Enterprises and ZINARA a fine of just US$900 for ﬂouting the procurement regulations in these tender awards.
Arrest in 2018
In November 2018, Mandiwanzira was arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office. Mandiwanzira allegedly engaged Megawatt Company to do consultancy work for NetOne without going to tender before directing NetOne to pay $5 million to the said company.
On the second count, Mandiwanzira reportedly un-procedurally appointed his personal assistant, Tawanda Chinembiri, to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) board.
Mandiwanzira, was granted $2 000 bail when he appeared in court after one night in police cells.
- 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.
- In 1994 he got the Zimpaper's Award for best journalism student.
- Supa Mandiwanzira Interview, Afro Essense Television, Published:31 May 2012, Retrieved:21 February 2015,
- Supa Mandiwanzira - Chief Executive Zimbabwe: , 'Mighty Movies', Published: 26 Nov 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
- Zimbabwe: Mandiwanzira Buys Mighty Movies, , Published: 6 December 2002 , Retrieved: 5 January 2017
- Who is Who in Zimbabwe: Supa Mandiwanzira, 'Nehanda Radio', Published: 26 Nov 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
- Mandiwanzira, Mliswa clash at AAG meeting, The Herald, Published:24 October 2011, Retrieved:21 February 2015,
- Chiyangwa praises Supa for AAG role, Nehanda TV, Published:17 February 2015, Retrieved:21 February 2015,
- Moses Matenga, I am not a loser: Mandiwanzira, 'NewsDay', Published: 4 Jul 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
- Chinotimba, Supa Mandiwanzira sails through Zanu-PF nomination process, Bulawayo 24, Published: 17 June 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014
- Tendai Mugabe President convenes extraordinary indaba, The Herald, Published: December 9, 2014, Retrieved: December 17, 2014
- H. Zharare, President Unveils New Ministers,The Herald, published:12 Dec 2012,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
- AG: Supa Mandiwanzira gets $200K car loan from own parastatal, The Source, published: June 23, 2016, retrieved: June 24, 2016
- Tendai Rupapa, UPDATED: Supa arrested in anti-graft crusade • Ex-minister spends night at Matapi • Criminal abuse of office cited, The Herald, Published:7 November 2018, Retrieved:9 November 2018
- Mandiwanzira: I did Not Lose Wife To Kabila, 'News DzeZimbabwe', Published: 4 July 2013, Retrieved: 21 May 2014