By Farai D Hove | In a move that has raised eyebrows and sparked concerns over the principles of separation of powers, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has approved the appointment of Dr. Millicent Sibongile Mombeshora as a Commissioner of the Public Service Commission. This decision, outlined in terms of Section 202(1)(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section 320, has ignited debates on potential conflicts of interest.
Dr. Millicent S. Mombeshora, the wife of the Health Minister, brings a wealth of qualifications and experience to the role, holding undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Economics, Finance, Strategic Management, Marketing, and Business Management from institutions in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the USA. Her extensive background spans various sectors in Zimbabwe, including information, banking, bank supervision, agriculture, and public administration and management.
Her involvement as a chairperson and board member in various State-owned Enterprises and Parastatals, as well as her roles in the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the Prisons and Correctional Service Commission, has been highlighted. Critics argue that this breadth of experience still raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest, particularly given her close association with the Health Minister.
While the announcement emphasizes Dr. Mombeshora’s knowledge and diverse experience, questions loom over the implications of appointing a person with familial ties to a key government official. The move has ignited discussions about the need to uphold the principles of separation of powers, a cornerstone of democratic governance.
The controversy surrounding the appointment is further intensified by the fact that Dr. Mombeshora’s term as Commissioner is set to commence on February 1, 2024. This swift transition has left little room for public scrutiny and has heightened suspicions about the transparency of the selection process.
As citizens and political observers express concerns over potential conflicts and the need for unbiased governance, this appointment adds fuel to ongoing debates about the role of familial connections and political affiliations in key government positions. The decision has sparked a call for transparency and accountability in the appointment process, as many hope for clarity regarding the rationale behind Dr. Mombeshora’s swift elevation to the Public Service Commission.