Tichaona Jokonya

Last updated


Tichaona Jokonya
Minister of Information and Publicity of Zimbabwe
In office
April 2005 24 June 2006
President Robert Mugabe
Personal details
Born(1938-12-27)27 December 1938
Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Died24 June 2006(2006-06-24) (aged 67)
Political party Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front

Dr Tichaona Joseph Benjamin Jokonya (27 December 1938 24 June 2006) was a Zimbabwean politician, civil servant and diplomat.

Contents

Early life

Jokonya was born in the Charter District, since renamed Chikomba and attended Lourdes Mission and Kutama College before training as a primary schoolteacher. After six years he was promoted to be Headmaster of Badza Primary School. While at work he continued to study for qualifications by post, passing GCE O and A levels, and then went to the University of Rhodesia.

Academic career

In 1965 Jokonya became more involved in politics and was appointed as Secretary for Political Affairs by the National Union of Zimbabwe Students. The NUZS supported majority rule and after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence Jokonya left the country, fearing that he would be detained. After travelling through Botswana, and Zambia he settled in Nairobi, Kenya where he enrolled at the University for a History degree.

Jokonya was a good student and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for a postgraduate degree at the University of Sussex School of African Studies in 1968, at which he wrote a dissertation on military intervention in politics in Africa. He followed this with a thesis on colonial land policy in Malawi, and went on to the University of London's Institute of Education where he was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 1971. He taught in Birmingham for six years in the 1970s. In January 2002, he received an MA in Government and Politics, and a Certification in International Law and Diplomacy at St. John's University in New York.

Return to Zimbabwe

With the advent of majority rule, Dr Jokonya returned and was employed as a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, specialising in modern British and European history. However, he was swiftly recruited to be part of the new ZANU PF government as deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Recreation in 1980. In 1983 Dr Jokonya was appointed as Zimbabwean ambassador to Ethiopia. As such he was also permanent representative to the Organisation of African Unity.

Dr Jokonya returned from this post to be Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Political Affairs in 1988, and took the additional role of Secretary for Foreign Affairs in 1990. He became concerned about expenditure on diplomatic missions and set them spending targets, while also pressing for returns to Zimbabwe through increased exports; he set up a statistical monitoring system to make sure the expected benefits were being delivered.

United Nations

In 1992 Dr Jokonya became permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, and from 1999 he was promoted to work at the UN headquarters in New York. He was a personal representative of President Robert Mugabe to the G-15 developing countries movement. However, the latter part of his term saw him defending Zimbabwe against attempts by some European countries to impose sanctions arising out of their opposition to Zimbabwean land reform policies.

Dr Jokonya was a personal beneficiary of the land reform, being allocated three formerly white-owned farms. In 2003, he was appointed the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, an appointment inspired by the need to improve the foreign currency earning power of the Zimbabwean tourism market. He refocused marketing to seek tourists from China, France and South Africa instead of the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, saying "It is wrong to send attaches to countries which we are fighting against". His term saw a rapid increase in the number of tourists coming to Zimbabwe from Asia.

Information Minister

Following the 2005 election, Dr Jokonya was appointed Minister of Information. In contrast to the previous Minister Jonathan Moyo, Dr Jokonya tried to reach out to media sources which were less friendly to the Zimbabwe government. However, he frequently suggested that journalists should remember their patriotism, and was highly critical of those who wrote stories critical of Zimbabwe government policies for foreign media. According to Jan Raath in The Times , he described them as traitors and then said "You know what the end of a traitor is? Death."

On taking up his office, Dr Jokonya offered regular meetings with journalists to discuss their coverage. He told them "I would want to make presentations to them on various subjects and one area I would want to deliver a paper on is on human rights because this term has been viewed from an Anglo-Saxon perspective."

He worked to restructure Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings, which had been created as an umbrella company when the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was split up. In the week before he died he announced that the multitude of companies would be merged into two (Zimbabwe Television Services and Zimbabwe Radio Services) with ZBH having one group chief executive officer and two managing directors. He was found dead in his hotel room on 24 June 2006.

He was placed on the United States sanctions list in 2005 and remained there until his death. [1]

Related Research Articles

Thabo Mbeki 2nd President of South Africa

Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served as the second president of South Africa from 16 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. On 20 September 2008, with about nine months left in his second term, Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the National Executive Committee of the ANC, following a conclusion by judge C. R. Nicholson of improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption. On 12 January 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously overturned judge Nicholson's judgement but the resignation stood.

Foreign relations of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe maintains relations with various countries around the world, and maintains close diplomatic relations with neighboring nations.

Lancaster House Agreement 1979 ceasefire agreement ending the Rhodesian Bush War

The Lancaster House Agreement, signed on 21 December 1979, declared a ceasefire, ending the Rhodesian Bush War; and directly led to Rhodesia achieving internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe. It required the imposition of direct British rule, nullifying the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of 1965. British governance would be strictly prescribed to the duration of a proposed election period; after which independence would follow with a newly elected government. Crucially, the political wings of the black nationalist groups ZANU and ZAPU, who had been waging an increasingly violent insurgency, would be permitted to stand candidates in the forthcoming elections. This was however conditional to compliance with the ceasefire and the verified absence of voter intimidation.

Abel Muzorewa

Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa, also commonly referred to as Bishop Muzorewa, served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979. A United Methodist Church bishop and nationalist leader, he held office for only a few months.

Jonathan Nathaniel Mlevu Moyo is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Higher Education from 2015 to 2017. He was previously Minister of Information and Publicity from 2000 to 2005 and again from 2013 to 2015. He was elected to the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe as an independent candidate in 2005 and 2008. He is considered the core architect of the AIPPA and POSA restrictive legislation.

Simbarashe Mumbengegwi

Simbarashe Simbanenduku Mumbengegwi is a Zimbabwean politician and diplomat currently serving as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Government Programmes. Previously he was acting Foreign Minister for a few days following the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe He had previously served as Zimbabwe's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2017. From October to November 2017, he was Minister of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion.

Operation Murambatsvina, also officially known as Operation Restore Order, was a large-scale Zimbabwean government campaign to forcibly clear slum areas across the country. The campaign started in 2005 and according to United Nations estimates has affected at least 700,000 people directly through loss of their homes or livelihood and thus could have indirectly affected around 2.4 million people. Robert Mugabe and other government officials characterised the operation as a crackdown against illegal housing and commercial activities, and as an effort to reduce the risk of the spread of infectious disease in these areas.

Christopher Dell

Christopher William Dell is a career United States Foreign Service officer who is currently serving as the Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activity, U.S. Africa Command since 2012. Before his current assignment Ambassador Dell served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo, after having also been posted to Angola and Zimbabwe.

Saviour Kasukuwere

Saviour Kasukuwere is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing between October and November 2017. He was also the ZANU–PF party's national political commissar until December 2017. Before that he was Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, and Minister of the Environment, Water and Climate. In October 2020, the Zimbabwe government sought Kasukuwere's extradition after issuing a warrant for his arrest. It was revealed that Kasukuwere was among loyalists of former President Robert Mugabe who fled to South Africa before their criminal trials could be completed.

Emmerson Mnangagwa 3rd President of Zimbabwe

Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who has served as President of Zimbabwe since 24 November 2017. A member of ZANU–PF and a longtime ally of former President Robert Mugabe, he held a series of cabinet portfolios and was Mugabe's Vice President until November 2017, when he was dismissed before coming to power in a coup d'état. He secured his first full term as president in the disputed 2018 general election.

Joseph Msika Zimbabwean politician (1923-2009)

Joseph Wilfred Msika was a Zimbabwean politician who served as Second Vice-President of Zimbabwe from 1999 to 2009.

Human rights in Zimbabwe

There were widespread reports of systematic and escalating violations of human rights in Zimbabwe under the regime of Robert Mugabe and his party, ZANU-PF, between 1980 and 2017.

Sydney Tigere Sekeramayi is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Defence between 2013 and 2017. He has been a minister in the Cabinet since independence in 1980, serving as Minister of Defence from 2001 to 2009 and Minister of State Security from 2009 to 2013.

Didymus Mutasa

Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa is a Zimbabwean politician who served as Zimbabwe's Speaker of Parliament from 1980 to 1990. Subsequently he held various ministerial posts working under President Robert Mugabe in the President's Office. He was Minister of State for Presidential Affairs from 2009 to 2014 and also served as ZANU-PF's Secretary for Administration.

Webster Kotiwani Shamu is a Zimbabwean politician and former Minister of Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs fired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 21 May 2018. He previously served as Minister of Information and Publicity, and Minister of State for Policy Implementation. He is a member of parliament representing the Chegutu constituency. The Cabinet of Zimbabwe was later dissolved on 27 November 2017.

The events of the first and second rounds of the Zimbabwean presidential election, which Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF won on 27 June 2008 after his challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), withdrew from the process and declared it illegitimate, caused reactions from many international bodies. Other Zimbabwean groups have denounced the poll as well

Morgan Tsvangirai Former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

Morgan Richard Tsvangirai was a Zimbabwean politician who was Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013. He was President of the Movement for Democratic Change, and later the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC–T), and a key figure in the opposition to former President Robert Mugabe.

Dr. Cephas George Msipa was a Zimbabwean politician.

Patrick Zhuwao is a Zimbabwean politician, businessman, and farmer. He served as Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare of Zimbabwe between October and November 2017. He was expelled from the ZANU–PF party during the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état.

Stuart Harold Comberbach is a Zimbabwean diplomat and politician. Currently, he serves as Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland.

References