Tsvangirai chops dead wood

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday dropped four ministers from his slot in the wobbly inclusive government, promoted one and reshuffled eight saying the changes were meant to strengthen both government ministries under his ambit and party structures.
Redeploying the quartet to party structures the MDC-T president — who doubles up as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe — said: “I have just completed a comprehensive review of the performance of the government and in particular my office and those ministers who represent the MDC.
“As a result, I have decided on a number of changes needed to strengthen the performance of the MDC in government and outside government in order to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe. These changes are being made with immediate effect.”
As reported by NewsDay yesterday, Tsvangirai sent packing Elias Mudzuri who was in charge of Energy, Fidelis Mhashu (Housing), Thamsanqa Mahlangu (Youth Development) and Evelyn Masaiti (Women’s Affairs).
He said those axed from the uneasy coalition government were reassigned to the party to strengthen and add momentum to the MDC-T’s programmes because its supporters were increasingly losing faith ahead of possible elections in May next year.
He replaced Mudzuri with Elton Mangoma, the former Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion; Mhashu with Giles Mutsekwa, former co-Home Affairs minister, Masaiti with Jessie Majome, the former Deputy Minister of Justice while Tongai Matutu took over from Thamsanga Mahlangu.
Obert Gutu has been appointed Deputy Minister of Justice.
Former deputy Mines minister Murisi Zwizwai takes over from Jameson Timba, the former deputy Information minister who has been elevated to Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office replacing Gorden Moyo.
Moyo now occupies a full Cabinet post as Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals after the former minister in charge of that portfolio Gabuza Joel Gabbuza took over from Theresa Makone at Public Works.
Makone assumes Mutsekwa’s hot seat as co-Home Affairs minister while Gift Chimanikire replaces Zwizwai.
MDC-T party deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada, who told NewsDay that he was raring to go as soon as he was sworn in, has been appointed Minister of Economic Planning, taking over from Mangoma.
Tsvangirai dismissed speculation that the changes were a purge against those who opposed his style of governance saying he consulted President Mugabe, his arch-rival in the coalition, over the issue.
President Mugabe’s response, according to the MDC leader, was to assure him he only needed a day for the administrative work in preparation for today’s swearing-in ceremony at State House.
On the issue of Roy Bennett, Tsvangirai, a former illustrious trade unionist, said he would not budge.
“I have appointed Roy Bennett as a designate Deputy Minister of Agriculture. It (the post) is still vacant. I am sorry to say that it still remains a disputed area in spite of the