Its exactly 7 months later since the minister of ICT Postal and courier services, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira sent the Potraz board packing, on allegations of misuse of funds and poor corporate governance at the establishment.
Just to refresh your memory these were Aguy Georgias, Mrs Thandiwe Shonhiwa, Colonel Dennias Madanhi, Mr Godfrey Muzondo, Mrs Sheila Sidambe and Mrs Nancy Saungweme-Muchenje. and their board was under the chairmanship of Ishmael Chikwenhere.
The newly announced Potraz board members from the top is the chairman of the board Mr Brian Mutandiro, he shall be deputized by retired Major General Sibangumuzi Khumalo while the other board members are Doreen Sibanda, Nancy Saungweme-Muchenje, Winston Marufu, and Fradson Shavi. The seventh board member who is supposed to be a lawyer is yet to be announced.
Here is a brief background on the new board members
The Chairman Mr Brian Mutandiro
Probably the only person with strong or known technological background, he hit the spotlight as the marketing manager of Coca-Cola Corp in 1999, but for most people in the tech field will remember him as the Chief Executive Officer for the then Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC)
He is a keen business executive with a career spanning several years and a number of sectors including FMCG, post & telecommunications, beverages, and agro-manufacturing. Hobbies include fishing, swimming and leisure reading.
The Deputy Chairman, Mr Sibangumuzi Khumalo: He was the Zimbabwe Defense Forces Director of army training. He led the Zimbabwe School of Military Engineering and the Zimbabwe Corps Of Engineers.
Winston Marufu:a mechanical engineer by training,has significant experience in product development, design and implementation, through to installation and final commissioning.
Ms Nancy Saungweme, the only board member who bounced back from the fired board, she has vast experience in intra and inter government relations, having worked in the office of foreign affairs in the office of protocol and political affairs department. she is a prominent property developer and was selected a board member of First Banking Corporation Ltd in July 2005.
Mr Fradson SHAVI, works in the Office Of The President And Cabinet, a dedicated telecommunications professional with high level qualifications.
Doreen Sibanda is the Executive Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
Speaking to TechnoMag, Minister Mandiwanzira said the new board must move quickly to arrest the intransigence in the telecommunications sector where consumers were being fleeced through expensive data products and below average services.
In a statement the Minister said he expects the new board to interrogate declarations by operators on their revenues to ensure the government through Potraz receives its dues.
“The board must also undertake to thoroughly investigate the compliance of telecommunications with the law especially where it relates to the registration of sim cards, declaration of incoming and outgoing international traffic among many other matters requiring immediate interventions,” he said.
“The immediate task for the board, Minister Mandiwanzira said, was to appoint a substantive director-general and to fill the positions of several directorate positions currently filled by personnel in acting capacities
he also said the board should ensure accountability in the completion of the new (Potraz) headquarters, which had been under construction for several years and had shockingly overrun its budget by $7 million as it should have been completed in December 2013.
He also spoke on the USF to help develop the rural areas as government seeks to connect the nation at large.
“The majority of Zimbabwe’s population live in the rural areas and it is also home to the country’s most significant economic activity, which is agriculture. People in rural areas also require and deserve telecommunications services of a high quality. In areas that do not attract commercial interest, we expect the Universal Services Fund to aggressively step up the development of the necessary telecommunications infrastructure.”