Tsvangirai Expected To Announce Staff Changes

Director of communication Andrew Chadwick has reportedly been dumped to the backroom staff with an unspecified role, which will effectively make him redundant.

Radio VOP can reveal that Tsvangirai finalised the appointments at the weekend and is scheduled to officially announce them Monday or Tuesday.

“The Prime Minister has finished restructuring his office with others getting new appointments and the biggest mover is James Maridadi who is now assuming the post of director of protocol which is known as chief of staff in other countries like the United States,” said a highly placed source at Tsvangirai’s office.

“While some might argue that Maridadi has been demoted, in terms of importance he is now more powerful because he will be even closer to Tsvangirai than before as he is the one who will be tasked with a number of important things for the  Prime Minister.

“For Luke (Tamborinyoka) it’s a big jump from being a mere director of information at the party to the Prime Minister’s spokesperson. It’s also a big post because he will be more visible than Maridadi. There are a number of changes which will also see Jacob Mafume being appointed as Ian Makone’s executive assistant.

“Mafume will deal with all communication that comes through to the prime minister,” said the source.

The changes are said to have been orchestrated by the new Minister of State in the Prime Ministers’ Office, Jameson Timba who is said to be keen on working with new people of his choice.

But it will be difficult to get the new appointments approved by the Public Service Commission. Maridadi himself spent more than eight months waiting to be confirmed as a civil servant while others like Emmanuel Chimwanda and Chadwick were completely rejected.

Mafume was also rejected by the PSC amid reports that Zanu (PF) elements in government are sceptical him given that he has worked for USAID.