Mnangagwa appoints deadwood cabinet

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed a new 22-member cabinet full of old Zanu PF faces, loyalists, as well as some officials known for wreaking havoc in their localities and others who can barely walk.

By Bernard Mpofu

The only prominent faces in cabinet are two military commanders — Air Force of Zimbabwe commander Perrence Shiri and Zimbabwe National Army Major-General Sibusiso Moyo. War veterans secretary-general Victor Matemadanda is now a deputy minister.

There are no opposition figures and prominent technocrats from outside despite a huge public expectation that cabinet will have new blood, skills and competencies to spearhead Zimbabwe’s reform agenda and economic recovery. New technocrats that were appointed to cabinet who have strong links to Mnangagwa, include former Mimosa Mine chief Winston Chitando (Mines minister), academic Clever Nyathi (Labour and Social Welfare) and Amon Murwira (Higher Education minister).

Most of the cabinet ministers are known Mnangagwa allies who fought in his corner during a fierce battle to succeed long-time leader Robert Mugabe, which culminated in a military intervention.

These include long-time ally July Moyo (Local Government) and Kazembe Kazembe (Sport, Arts and Recreation). SB Moyo, who has been appointed Foreign Affairs minister, ironically publicly announced the military intervention which led to Mugabe’s forced exit.

Some of Mnangagwa’s loyalists include Owen Ncube who was appointed Minister of State for the Midlands, which is the President’s political fiefdom. Ziyambi Ziyambi, another Mnangagwa ally, who faced brickbats from former first lady Grace Mugabe during her whirlwind rallies seeking to push out the new President, has been appointed Justice minister.

The return of Angeline Masuku, who is advanced in age, has come as a surprise as Zanu PF continues to recycle the old guard. She was appointed minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan.

“The secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr. M.J.M Sibanda has announced the following categories of ministerial appointments by His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, in terms of Section 104, subsection (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” said Presidential press secretary in a statement issued late last night. To tackle the country’s economic implosion characterised by unemployment levels hovering around 90%, low business activity, rising inflation and a currency crisis, Mnangagwa re-appointed Patrick Chinamasa as Finance minister.

Before succeeding Mugabe, Chinamasa had been appointed to a lesser powerful ministry of Cyber Security.

Firebrand war veterans leader Chris Mutsvanga who was fired by Mugabe as veterans of the liberation war minister is now the new Information minister, taking over from Simon Khaya Moyo who has been reassigned to the Energy ministry.

Another old face from the previous cabinet is that of Obert Mpofu who retains his Home Affairs ministry, while Health minister David Parirenyatwa — who has been there forever — will retain his post. Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira, according to the new appointments, will also head his previous portfolio.

Primary education minister Lazarus Dokora, who has in the past faced public criticism due to his unpopular policies, has also retained his portfolio. Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha was also re-appointed to the new cabinet, while Jorum Gumbo will continue to head the Transport ministry. Former State Security minister Kembo Mohadi is now heading the merged Defence and Veterans ministry, fuelling speculation as to who could be one of Mnangagwa’s deputies amid indications that Sydney Sekeramayi and former Zipra intelligence supremo Dumiso Dabengwa or Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda could also be elevated.

Other ministers that have been reassigned from portfolios they had during Mugabe’s regime include Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri (Environment, Water and Climate), Sithembiso Nyoni (Women and Youth Affairs), Martin Dinha and Webster Shamhu. Former Economic Planning minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has been reappointed Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring of Government Programmes.

Zimbabweans on social media reacted with shock after the cabinet was announced as they believed Mnangagwa would break from the past and dump dead wood.

“The honeymoon is over even before it had begun. What a shame. What a missed opportunity,” tweeted former finance minister Tendai Biti.

9 Responses to Mnangagwa appoints deadwood cabinet

  1. Cde Mabhunu muchatiza December 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

    The cabinet has always been not dead wood but they did not have a leader. THeir leader would protect corupt people. He would fly 3 times a month and take away 3million dollars every time he flew out.
    What we have always needed was to change the head. This was the issue from the 80s. You gave Mugabe 37 years to gudge him… we do not mind if you give Mnangagwa just 2 years before you gudge him….. lets start talking after 3 years

    • Gheo December 1, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

      We do not have 2 years to wait for the current cabinet to prove itself; 37 years was wasted thus we cannot afford to wait. The president promised to hit the ground running but it seems he has choosen to hit the ground crawling. It is like a game of rugby-2 steps forward throw the ball back

    • Gold Ruyondo December 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      you mean Mnangagwa is clean?

  2. Maonazvangu December 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    Zimbabweans have to brace for tough times ahead with this kind of a cabinet. Thought the new president would do better but alas, he is just a chip from the old block as systematic recycling and rewarding of loyalists was the most determining factor. A real disappointment from one we expected so much from. Which goes to show that a chameleon (Zanu PF) will never change its colours. This is time for the boys to eat from the feeding tough.

  3. Cde Mabhunu muchatiza December 1, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    Gentlemen not that I support ED, I have nothing to do with him but 1 thing is for certain, we can never be all politicians… professionals will never be politicians. Simba Makoni was a brilliant Finister of Finance, so was Chidzero, so was Biti, so was ( I reserve my comments about Murerwa), so is Chinamasa. Chinamasa talked about reducing government costs, negotiated a lot lending instistitutions and he was almost getting there and he was fired for the good job he was doing. He could not do his job independantly. So were all the ministers I have mentioned. Rewards were given to the corrupt an victimisation was being done to hard workers and the honest. The problem was with the President. ED is saying I will give you results with the same team, and if this team fails I am the 1 who would have failed.
    It is my 1st time in my life to hear a Zimbawean president talking about economics. Taingonzwa zve history nezve kutukana chete. Kana vaenda ku UN voti Blair is a toilet how did this help us? Lets see.

  4. Sagitarr December 1, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Boy, am I glad that MDC Alliance is NOT part of this tom-foolery. Let Zanu (Chameleon Front) completely detonate itself to smithereens in the next few months. They will certainly entangle themselves in a web of corruption scandals that will start to unravel soon.

  5. zviyo December 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

    he did not need to bring back Angeline masuke and Obert Mpofu Ko Muda Ncube the KweKwe EL Shabbaab Boss. This is a well know gold panner with lots of youth behind him who form the ElShabbaab in Kwe Kwe. NhAI Vanhu wee aita sei Ermason! He is now a president not leader of a faction. Is that difficult to understand?

  6. wenyengo December 1, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

    zvakaoma zve zanu pf izvi

  7. Gold Ruyondo December 2, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

    Mnangagwa is the other side of Mugabe, A mere change of guards

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