PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe at the weekend promised a Cabinet reshuffle, which instead of inspiring hope evokes a sense of déjà vu.
In the past 18 years, Mugabe has literally had countless reshuffles and these have failed to bring spark to the economy and we do not expect any difference this time.
Instead of the reshuffle being about the economy or serving the country’s interests, it is certainly about Mugabe balancing factional issues in his party Zanu PF.
We will not hold our breath expecting new players in the new Cabinet, but we expect the same faces, with just new titles — a recycling of dead wood.
Mugabe is literally playing a game of musical chairs, where he is moving his lieutenants from one ministry to the next, but the end result is that the economy remains in the doldrums.
In the past three years, Mugabe has had no less than two Cabinet reshuffles, none of which have been inspiring, as the country’s fortunes went from bad to worse.
So with the latest changes, what Zimbabweans can expect is old wine in old casks, which will not change the country’s fortunes.
Excuse us for the pessimism, but we have been there before, where there are Cabinet reshuffles, whose main objective is a delicate factional balance rather than anything else.
With elections due in less than 12 months, Mugabe may not want to rock the boat too much and he will ensure that each faction is fairly served.
With the economy and social services in such peril, Zimbabwe would be better served by a new Cabinet, whose interests are not just in politics but also to serve and turn around the country’s fortunes.
In an ideal world, Mugabe would cast his net wider and look for technocrats, who are not afraid to confront him when he strays, rather than party sycophants, who will sing his praises just so they earn favour.
Also, Mugabe should be in a position to trim his Cabinet, as the country cannot afford a bloated executive.
There are several ministries that the country can do without, while the President can merge others.
However, as history is a good teacher, it will not be shocking to see the number of ministers increased, while others who were outright failures, are brought back.
Thus, the impending reshuffle does not excite, as we do not expect anything new.