Frederick Shava, Zimbabwe’s former Minister of State for Political Affairs, who was implicated in the Willowgate scandal, has been sworn in as the country’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The swearing-in held at the State House in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital on Tuesday.
Shava, who has held various portfolios in government since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in February, following the death of Sibusiso Moyo, who succumbed to COVID-19 related complications in January.
He previously served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China before he was appointed as permanent representative to the United Nations.
His appointment is one of several key cabinet appointments made last month by Mnangagwa, following the deaths of three cabinet ministers from COVID-19.
Last month, Tapiwa Mhona was sworn in as Transport Minister and Infrastructure Development, replacing late Biggie Matiza, while Nokhuthula Matsikenyeri was sworn in as Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Manicaland Province, replacing Ellen Gwaradzimba.
Shava’s appointment has been criticised in Zimbabwe over his implication and subsequent conviction, in the early 1980s, for corruptly buying vehicles from the state-owned Willowvale Motor Industries before reselling them at double the market value in a scandal named Willowgate.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison but was acquitted by the then-President, Robert Mugabe, after spending only one night in jail.