In January this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed a new Co-Deputy Direr of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Dr Gatsha Mazithulela.
While the DDG has been silent since his appointment, very few people are aware that the man is a leader of the National Defence University Council and chairman of the National Authority of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Zimbabwe Chapter under the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Act 1998.
Mazithulela is also the Vice chairperson of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone) following his appointment in 2015.
According to the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Act 1998:
Any person who- (a) develops, produces, acquires, stockpiles, or retains a chemical weapon; or (b) transfers, directly or indirectly, a chemical weapon to another person; or (c) uses a chemical weapon; or (d) engages in any military preparations to use a chemical weapon; or (e) in any way assists, encourages or induces any person to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under the Convention; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one-hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Dr Mazithulela has also attended the following trainings: Fogarty Aids International Training and Research Scholarship at Johns Hopkins University in the United States (2004), Rockefeller Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship (1995 to 1998), post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Nottingham, and postdoctoral scientist at DuPont Incorporated in the USA.
He was awarded support from the UK-South Africa Science and Technology Research Fund in 1997. His interests extend to current affairs and military strategy.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) in biology and biochemistry in 1994 and received a Rockefeller Foundation doctoral scholarship to study genetic engineering at the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom.
Dr Mazithulela graduated with a PhD in genetic engineering at the age of 27 and worked in the US and the UK. He obtained an MBA in London.
He has served as an innovation manager for CSIR’s Biochemtek division, director of the South African Aids Vaccine Initiative at the South African Medical Research Council and managing director of Secure Plan Investment Limited in the UK.
He also served as National Research Foundation of South Africa vice-president, Nuclear Technology Products (Pty) Limited, at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation corporate development consultant.