PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has retained his two deputies from the previous government in a move analysts yesterday said did not inspire much public confidence ahead of the unveiling of a new Cabinet probably next week.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi each took the oath of office before Chief Justice Luke Malaba, a first under the new Constitution.
“This is a requirement of the Constitution that the Vice-Presidents be sworn-in by the Chief Justice and I am here to perform my constitutional duty,” Justice Malaba said.
Political analysts Maxwell Saungweme argued Mnangagwa was stuck in former President Robert Mugabe’s modus operandi of running government business.
“It exposes Mnangagwa as still being imprisoned by Mugabe’s need to balance Zanla-Zipra (liberation war armies) and Ndebele-Shona dynamics in the presidium,” he said.
“Any senior minister can act as President in the absence of the latter.
So if Mnangagwa is still trapped in the need to play a delicate balance of placating and rewarding comrades, we are likely to see the same playing out with his Cabinet appointments.
This is sad and points to no transformation and a likely more of the same.”
International Crisis Group consultant Piers Pigou said Mnangagwa’s choices thus far did not inspire confidence.
“I suppose the real concern is that if he has the same VPs, he might as well have the same Cabinet.
That will not be very impressive and I don’t think it will send a very positive message,” he said.
“It would be good to see who the Finance minister and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor will be and that if he does not think it of rewarding (Patrick) Chinamasa and (John) Mangudya for having stayed the distance so far.”
Political analyst Sithembile Mpofu said there were different considerations used in the appointment of Vice-Presidents and Cabinet ministers.
“When the President assigns government posts, he has two main considerations.
The first is the fact that he must balance power,” Mpofu said.
“Stability within a political party and government does not just happen, it must be constructed.
The second consideration is the technical expertise of individuals being appointed.
The VP posts consider power balance issues while technical expertise is a subsequent consideration.
His cabinet posts must be biased towards technical expertise and have less to do with power balance issues.”
The two immediately said the Zanu PF government would honour its election promises to turn around the economy.
Chiwenga said the new Zanu PF administration would not tolerate any deliberate bottlenecks by both Cabinet and the civil service posts.
“It cannot be business as usual and we will not accept any lethargy.
This applies to colleagues we are going to have in Cabinet as well as the whole civil service.
Time for politicking is over, the elections are behind us,” the former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander said.
Mohadi, who has been nursing injuries sustained in a grenade blast in Bulawayo two months ago, said government would deliver on its commitments.