By Prince Kurupati
After what seemed like an eternity, the recently elected president in Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa finally announced his Cabinet on Friday the 7th at the State House in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. In order to effectively steer forward the country, a president is expected to pick a team of individuals whom he thinks will help to execute the task at hand. However, for nearly two months since his victory, Mnangagwa kept his cards to himself much to the dismay of the general populace.
The announcement of the new Cabinet by the president however quickly erased all the anger on the citizens’ part as they were impressed by the calibre of individuals picked to change the prospects of the country. The majority of Zimbabweans were impressed by two things mostly following the announcement, firstly, the inclusion of technocrats who many believe have what it takes to improve the country’s prospects and also the exclusion of ‘deadwood’.
The inclusion of Technocrats Raises the Nation’s Hope
According to the Zimbabwean Constitution, the president is allowed to pick five technocrats (unelected) for ministerial positions. However, over the recent years, then leader Robert Mugabe and also Emmerson Mnangagwa after assuming power in November last year opted to pick party loyalists rather than technocrats. In the end, some started to believe that the whole clause of picking unelected technocrats was a clever trick on the part of ZANU (PF) to reward party bigwigs who would have lost in the elections. This assertion, however, has been quashed by Mnangagwa with his ‘pure’ technocrat picks.
Mthuli Ncube, a financial and economic expert who has held distinguished roles at the African Development Bank, at Oxford University and also at several South African universities is Mnangagwa’s pick to head the finance ministry. Coming with loads of experience from the economic sector, Ncube is expected to revive the country’s economic fortunes. The appointment of Ncube has impressed many Zimbabweans both in the economic field and the general populace. Those in the economic field believe that Ncube can use his contacts in the international business arena to unlock the country’s potential. Having established relationships with several individuals working for institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Ncube is likely going to find it easy than his predecessors to convince these institutions to change their approach towards the country.
Another technocrat appointment that has excited many Zimbabweans is the appointment of an Olympic champion, Kirsty Coventry. Kirsty Coventry did the nation proud during her peak starting with the Athens Olympics in Greece in 2004. After calling time on her successful career, Coventry established her own academy and started nurturing swimming talent from an early age. Despite the possibility of going abroad to seek other lucrative deals, Coventry has put her country first and to many, she is the emblem of patriotism. Her appointment has been welcomed by the majority who feel she has what it takes to improve the sports sector in the country. Zimbabweans also believe that Coventry can use her contacts in the international arena to improve the relationship of the country’s sporting associations with sporting associations of other countries.
While Coventry’s role in the Cabinet is aimed towards sports, arts and the youth, some Zimbabweans believe that her appointment is a way of including all the races in the development of the country. The white community in the country has had limited representation in the top hierarchy for quite some time. Apart from the brief spell David Coltart had in the Government of National Unity period, the last white person to be appointed a minister in Zimbabwe was Denis Norman who was the minister of transport from 1990 to 1997.
Other notable appointments include the appointment of Obadiah Moyo as the minister of Health. Previously, Obadiah Moyo worked for many years as the Chief Executive Officer at one of Zimbabwe’s largest referral hospitals, Chitungwiza Central Hospital. Mnangagwa also retained Winston Chitando as the minister of Mines and Mining Development following his impressive cameo over the past 8 months in the same position.
‘Deadwood Thrown Under the Bus’
Mnangagwa answered the wishes of most Zimbabweans by leaving out some bigwigs who had become ever present in the Zimbabwean Cabinet. The likes of Obert Mpofu, Patrick Chinamasa, Simon Khaya Moyo, Josaya Hungwe and David Parirenyatwa all lost their place in the Cabinet much to the joy of Zimbabweans. These bigwigs had become synonymous with the government’s insensitivity to the plight of the general public and were widely believed to be corrupt. One only wishes that they are not given a new lease of life in government through a back door.
Time to Work
Football fans know that assembling a team of world-class players is not a guarantee of success. In addition to talent and expertise, it’s important for the players to work as a team, to be committed and also to have the will to achieve the goals set. The same applies to this new Cabinet. While on paper it looks like a great Cabinet, it will only be regarded as a great Cabinet if it manages to steer the country forward and this can only be achieved if all the ministers work together, are committed to what they are doing and have the political will to execute their tasks diligently, efficiently and effectively.
This is the full list of the new Zimbabwean Cabinet
- Ministry of Finance -Mthuli Ncube
- Ministry of Defense & War Veterans- Hon Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri
- Ministry of Mines and Mining Development– Hon Winston Chitando
- Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services– Hon Monica Mutsvangwa
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade– Hon Sibusiso Moyo
- Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare – Hon Sekesai Nzenza
- Ministry of Industry and Commerce –Hon Mhangaliso Ndlovu
- Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage – Hon Cain Matema
- Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education – Hon Amon Murwira
- Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education – Hon Paul Mavhima
- Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement – Hon Perrence Shiri
- Ministry of Energy and Power Development – Hon Joram Gumbo
- Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development – Hon Joel Matiza
- Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services – Hon Monica Mutsvangwa
- Ministry of Information Communication Technology & Courier Services – Hon Kazembe Kazembe
- Ministry of Environment Tourism and Hospitality Industry – Hon Priscah Mupfumira
- Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation – Hon Kirsty Coventry
- Ministry of Health and Child Care – Hon Obadiah Moyo
- Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs – Hon Ziyambi Ziyambi
Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Small and Medium Enterprise Development – Hon G.G Nyoni
- Ministry of Defense & War Veterans: Hon Victor Matemadanda
- Local Government, Public Works and National Housing – Hon Jennifer Mhlanga
- Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare – Hon Lovemore Matuke
- Ministry of Industry and Commerce – Hon R Modi
- Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage – Hon Michael Madiro
- Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education – Hon Edgar Moyo
- Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement – Hon Douglass Karoro, Hon Vangelis Haritatos
- Ministry of Mines and Mining Development – Hon Polite Kambamura
- Ministry of Energy and Power Development – Hon Magna Mudyiwa
- Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development – Hon Fortune Chasi
- Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services: Hon Energy Utodi
- Ministry of Information Communication Technology & Courier Services – Hon Jerifan Muswere
- Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation – Hon Yeukai Simbanegavi
MINISTERS OF STATE FOR THE PROVINCES
- Harare – TBA
- Bulawayo – Hon. Judith Ncube
- Mashonaland West – Hon. Mary Mliswa
- Mashonaland East – Hon. Apollonia Muneverengi
- Mashonaland Central – Hon. Monica Mavhunga
- Manicaland – Hon Ellen Gwaradzimba
- Midlands – Hon. Larry Mavima
- Masvingo – Hon. Ezra Chadzamira
- Matabeleland South – Hon. Abednico Ncube
- Matabeleland North – Hon. Richard Moyo
MINISTERS OF STATE IN THE OFFICES OF THE VICE PRESIDENTS
- Hon. Vice President General (Rtd) C.G.D.N. Chiwenga’s Office – Hon. Evelyn Ndlovu
- Vice President K.C.D. Mohadi’s Office – Hon. Davis Marapira