Acid test for Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa will face his first greatest test when he selects his new Cabinet in which he will have to strike a balancing act between his old Zanu PF lieutenants’ political interests and his new trajectory that business leads politics to arrest the country’s economic spiral, analysts have warned.

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Mnangagwa was sworn-in on Sunday after the Constitutional Court cleared his way by dismissing MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s election petition that sought to overturn his narrow victory.

On Sunday he showed he was alive to the challenges lying ahead of him when he urged the country to redirect its energies from politics to the economy.

But analysts warned that Mnangagwa’s dream could only be realised if he appoints the right people into the Cabinet, likely to be announced this week.

Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs in the Politburo, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said he hoped Mnangagwa will appoint young and energetic people into the Cabinet.

“I am expecting a young Cabinet, with young people, because if we look at the people we voted for, most of them are young and energetic. We have quite a lot of talent among our youths and we also expect more women in the new Cabinet,” Mangwana said.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said Mnangagwa’s biggest task will be to strike a fine balancing act between the interests of his political lieutenants — such as Oppah Muchinguri and Obert Mpofu, among others, who stood by him during trying times when he was persecuted by former President Robert Mugabe.

“The party and government have been conflated for a long period. Mnangagwa should balance party business and government work. He should go outside the party and select the best brains and retire the old guard to party, not government positions,” Masunungure said. “Now that he has been voted (in), though his political nemesis (Chamisa) still disputes it, he now has the legitimacy. With his 50, 67%, he crossed the Rubicon and his power is now anchored on the electorate.

“I don’t know how much room he has to manoeuvre, but I believe he now has the room. He should now look for the best technocrats, not all those who served under Mugabe. They are all contaminated.”

Masunungure said Mnangagwa has the option of keeping technocrats he introduced into his former Cabinet and do away with the entire ministers who served under Mugabe.


He said the President could select all the five he was mandated by the Constitution from outside Zanu PF to boost investor confidence.

He said the likes of Alliance for People’s Agenda leader Nkosana Moyo was a candidate to be reappointed into government to lead critical ministries like Finance, while career ministers could be reassigned to the party.

Academic Amon Murwira and Winston Chitando were technocrats roped in by Mnangagwa in his last Cabinet.

Some of the career ministers that could be reassigned were Obert Mpofu (Home Affairs) Patrick Chinamasa (Finance minister), Christopher Mutsvangwa (presidential special adviser), Oppah Muchinguri (Environment) and Simon Khaya Moyo (Energy minister).

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa reshuffled his Cabinet to appoint technocrats ahead of the ruling African National Congress party members in February to lure investors and balance party and business interests.

Another political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme said Mnangagwa should appoint a lean, inclusive and bi-partisan Cabinet of not more than 16 ministers from the NGO sector, academia and other opposition political parties.

He also urged the President to do away with deputy ministers.

“People like Nkosana Moyo are also skilled and talented. Vibrant and skilled MDC Alliance MPs must also be appointed. He needs both talent and pedigree,” Saungweme said.

“He needs to drop deadwood such as Mpofu, Chinamasa, Mutsvangwa and the likes and reassign them to their party. He needs to appoint level-headed people who are reconciliatory and accommodate dissent from both MDC and Zanu PF.”

United Kingdom-based former lecturer at Harare Polytechnic College Reward Mushayabasa said Mnangagwa has an uphill task of reviving an economy that was slapped with fresh United States sanctions and only competent people in his Cabinet could help him to realise that goal.

“What the country needs is a leaner Cabinet with some of the best brains in Zimbabwe. From his current crop of ministers, he can retain people like Murwira and Chitando and he should look beyond Zanu PF,” Mushayabasa said.

“He can appoint technocrats like Nkosana Moyo, Simba Makoni, Noah Manyika, Mthuli Ncube, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube as a gesture of goodwill to the opposition and the Zimbabwe civil society. Such appointments will also help to inspire confidence among the international community.”

Gladys Hlatshwayo, another political analyst, said Mnangagwa would most likely reappoint his old and tired ministers who lack agility and were unable to develop public policy solutions in the 21st century.

“Yes, we might see a few new faces in Cabinet but the majority will be these old and tired individuals that have been accused of grand corruption and incompetence,” Hlatshwayo said.

But political analyst Alexander Rusero said Cabinet was not necessarily inspired by “personalities, but policies and sincerity in pursuing and implementing those policies.”

“For as long as issues of corruption, nepotism and patronage are not dealt with by this Mnangagwa government, even if angels become Cabinet ministers there won’t be much to do.

“Zimbabwe’s problem no matter how big it may appear is premised on dealing with regime and elite preservation at the expense of national interests.”

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30 Comments

  1. i do not recall ED saying business lead politics but infact it was Mugabe who is on record of saying politics lead the gun but that adadge was proved spectacularily incorrect buy Guvheya when they took over in November 2017, so lets not put words into Ed which he did not say

  2. The current ministers must not be retained at all, they have a DNA of theft, corruption and untrusted especially Obert Mpofu. No retired soldiers please. I beg you his Excellency in the name of God do not retain those ministers who will discredit you and the whole nation.

  3. Gladys Hlatshwayo, another political analyst, said Mnangagwa would most likely reappoint his old and tired ministers who lack agility and were unable to develop public policy solutions in the 21st century.
    You are on point there Gladys.. I also expect more than to 2 3rds to be from the same old.
    e.g Shiri, Chinamasa, Mangwana, Mpofu, Oppah, Chitando, Mutsvangwa,etc wll be there. I bet my last penny on that.

  4. Farai Johnson Nhire

    There can only be one president at a time who has the prerogative to appoint ministers. Those who are for the idea of appointing ministers from the opposition are not being practical. You do not just involve the opposition just for the sake of it. Remember the opposition is wellknown for subotage of Ed , bhora musango. What guarantee do we have that those individuals will not continue with their bhora musango business in government? The only way the opposition could demonstrate their suitability to work with Ed would be by openly asking Us government to unconditionaly remove sanctions they helped to be imposed on our nation.

  5. For ED being an illegitimate leader himself who came into power firstly through the gun & secondly through electoral theft, it is absurd to expect him to do the right thing. A lemon tree can’t produce oranges

  6. ED said the people’s vote is God’s voice, so people voted against him and he stole people’s vote.
    ED stole from God not from people and he is not fighting against Chamisa or the people but he is fighting against God so lets wait seeeeeeeeeeeeee

    1. He is there! ED pfeeeeeee. Uchingoukura. Your puppet boy achingochema. Iwe uchingozhamba

  7. I do not like old guards but l like ex military guyz like Moyo and Shiri. These guyz are practical kwete kuswero puwa reasons for not performing. Military guyz deliver. Look at command agric. I believe Muzembi should be retrieved and be given back tourism. I think he was good. Biti is a fool but he should have been given finance had he not been too foolish. Nkosana Moyo is patriotic l like him.

    1. Haa Bit Madhara eFinace manje

  8. Very surprising that all the commentators you have interviewed, not even one of them has touched on the “JUNTA” aspect of ED’s Cabinet. Has this got something to do with the November 2017 coup’de’tat’? If Mugabe was removed from power because he wanted the army to stay out of politics, it follows that your commentators find nothing wrong with the coup. SAD.

  9. kid marongorongo

    ED must not include any member of MDC alliance until they remove sanctions. with this more than two thirds majority ZANU PF must enjoy its majority vote if MDC wants to be in cabinet they should first of all know they are Zimbabweans and any act against the people of Zimbabwe is not acceptable, remove sanctions, be considered in cabinet. Its unpatriotic to make the people who voted for you suffer in the name of politics.

    1. Who signed sanctions?. who butchered 7 people?. Alliance was never part of it.

    2. True. Why should ED include the MDC members in his cabinet, with their selfish egocentric attitudes. Let them renounce and remove sanctions first

  10. Zvimwe ndezvimwe hazvo its now time to blend the old cabinet with new blood to bring in new ideas which can quickly turn around our economy. people need bread and butter issues on the table

  11. The cabinet will be made up of those persons who the generals decide must be rewarded.

  12. Wezhira Wezhara

    It is only that people do not know what they say who talk of dead wood. The direction taken by any ship is determined by its captain. This can be proved by the fact that Zanu PF had become violent under Mugabe but when ED came he preached peace and in just two weeks there was calm before the storm. He preached re-engagement unlike the mandra of “keep your England and I keep my Zimbabwe” by Mugabe. So even if people like Chinamasa are reappointed, it will be captain Mnangagwa’s way of doing business that influences Govt strategy at the end of the day. Remember in the last months, ministers have been coming to work early because ED was always in office by 0745 hours.

  13. Remember in the last months, ministers have been coming to work early because ED was always in office by 0745 hours
    Coming early to sleep in office. Cash crisis still a common prob for Zimbos.

    Wezhira when someone has been working hard results are there to testify, even at school its the same scenario. Results show who has been working and who was playing. Merely carrying huge text books is not a sign of working hard.

    1. Wezhira Wezhara

      @Samaritan you seem to be emotionally attached to politicians a lot. How can an economy improve when the MDC goes to US to draft Zidera? Remember when Biti and Chamisa went to the US in December that is when new Zidera conditions were crafted. We have election conditions in the new Zidera which was only signed after elections which were not only peaceful but free and fair. Zimbabwean economy iBhasikiti raTizirai rinoti Zanu PF inoruka kumusoro MDC ichi rudunura zasi. Food for thought

  14. Biti should be kept very far away form the cabinet, he is a disruptive force, who is even willing to call for sanctions upon the country.We want people who are prepared to put Zimbabwe first.

  15. I’m sure no sane human being from MDC would want to have anything to do with this cabinet, it takes guts for one to sell their soul for no real gain. It’s just a matter of time before the cult start devouring themselves again

  16. Again I have my popcorn with me waiting in anticipation to see if the crocodile will change the ministers or same old lies lets all seat back as the drama unfolds in Zimbabwe I admit it does not get any better than Zim an amusement park filled with clowns and rides

  17. Vanogona tipeiwo probable cabinet timboona zvedu kuti ingange yakamira sei

  18. Sunungura Marasta

    Zimbabwe is open for business as usual vana wevhu. Same old faces, just a different day.

    1. we need money in banks.

  19. Zimbabwe is open for business vana wevhu

  20. remember Khupe was a guest at the inauguration so she will be rewarded with a ministerial post and also for causing havoc in the MDC

  21. a simple appointment alone wont do the trick,a rigorous system of perfomance evaluation and putting in place mechanisms that make it easy to remove non-performing ministers sounds more like it.then there is the issue of corruption and a general lack of innovation that must be tackled head on.

    1. you talk sense not the rubbish the author rambled and people commenting here

  22. READ THIS AGAIN:

    But political analyst Alexander Rusero said Cabinet was not necessarily inspired by “personalities, but policies and sincerity in pursuing and implementing those policies.”

    “For as long as issues of corruption, nepotism and patronage are not dealt with by this Mnangagwa government, even if angels become Cabinet ministers there won’t be much to do.

    “Zimbabwe’s problem no matter how big it may appear is premised on dealing with regime and elite preservation at the expense of national interests.”

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