Former Mashonaland East Provincial Minister of State Joel Biggie Matiza became one of the shortest serving ministers in Zimbabwe after President Robert Mugabe dropped him from his government, hardly six months after appointing him.
Mugabe in a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday appointed Retired Brigadier-General Ambrose Mutinhiri as the new Provincial Affairs minister, thereby replacing Matiza.
But Matiza said he was content with the decision to remove him from the ministerial post.
He said this would give him enough time to concentrate on his new role as the new Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson.
Matiza’s substitution came barely two days after he was elected as provincial chairperson, a post left vacant when businessman-cum-politician Ray Kaukonde was fired on allegations of being aligned to ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
“I am ok with it. This gives me enough time to concentrate on rebuilding the party in the province,” Matiza said.
On Saturday, Matiza defeated five other candidates who were vying for the chairmanship post, among them Aeneas Chigwedere and Edgar Mbwembwe.
Elections for other provincial executive members will be held in Marondera on Saturday.
“My new role requires me to work hard. I am glad that Gamatox is no longer powerful in the province. The fact that the majority of people voted for me means that people are distancing themselves from the people who had other motives towards the party,” he said.
“My task now is to make people understand the party constitution because when people fail to understand it, then we have problems like those we had recently, when factionalism was born. Moreover, I need to make sure that the ongoing restructuring exercise is perfected.”
Matiza added: “Now that I am full time into party business, my other objective is for the party to be self-sufficient. The time to beg for financial resources has lapsed and I am going to come up with strategies for the party in the province to sufficiently fund itself. We have a farm that has been under-utilised and will soon engage a partner to fully utilise it for our benefit.”