Mnangagwa in Cabinet shocker

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pulled a shocker when he dropped several Zanu PF party bigwigs, some who had served as Cabinet ministers for several years, and appointed three technocrats — former banker Mthuli Ncube as Finance minister, Winston Chitando and Amon Murwira (who both bounced back as Mines and Higher Education ministers respectively) — at the helm of his government’s plans to rescue the country’s battered economy.


Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda announcing the new Cabinet appointees at State House yesterday

Analysts, however, described Mnangagwa’s new 20-member Cabinet as largely uninspiring, as it was still dominated by recycled old guards who served in former President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

The axe fell on long-serving ministers; Patrick Chinamasa, Obert Mpofu, Simon Khaya Moyo, David Parirenyatwa, Supa Mandiwanzira, Mike Bimha, Petronella Kagonye, the majority of whom played a pivotal role in his ascendancy to power following last November’s soft coup against Mugabe.

Mnangagwa, however, made some surprise picks, with musician-cum-politician Energy Mutodi deputising Monica Mutsvangwa in the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry, while swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry landed the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministerial post.

Other surprise entrants were Mangaliso Ndlovu and Sekai Nzenza, who were appointed Industry and Commerce, and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministers, respectively.

Long-time Mnangagwa ally and Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri became the country’s first female Defence minister, while July Moyo and Sibusiso Moyo retained their Local Government and Foreign Affairs portfolios, respectively.

Former Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Matema bounced back as Home Affairs minister, as Perrance Shiri retained his Agriculture portfolio, which has now been expanded to include Climate Change and Environment tasks.

Another Mnangagwa ally, Joram Gumbo, was reassigned from Transport to the Energy ministry, as Prisca Mupfumira retained her Tourism portfolio.

Parirenyatwa was replaced by Obadiah Moyo, former head of Chitungwiza Central Hospital, while Kazembe Kazembe was moved from Sports to ICT, replacing Mandiwanzira.

Joel Biggie Matiza bounced back into government and replaced Gumbo as new Transport minister, while Ziyambi Ziyambi remained Justice minister.

However, analysts yesterday cast aspersions over Mnangagwa’s new Cabinet’s capacity to turn around the fortunes of the economy, arguing that the Zanu PF leader had made cosmetic changes and failed to trim government bureaucracy.

Mnangagwa appointed 13 deputy ministers, who include Victor Matemadanda (Defence), Jennifer Mhlanga (Local Government), Lovemore Matuke (Public Service, Rajeshukumar Modi (Industry), Edgar Moyo (Primary and Secondary Education), Douglas Kasoro and Vanelis Harritatos (Lands), Polite Kambamura (Mines), Magna Mudyiwa (Energy), Fortune Chasi (Transport), Jerifan Muswere (ICT) and Yeukai Simbanegavi as the new Sports deputy minister.

The Zanu PF leader, who beat MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in the July 30 disputed polls, also appointed nine provincial ministers as he also dropped some of his top allies Josaya Hungwe and Owen Ncube.

Judith Ncube took over as Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister, Mary Mliswa (Mashonaland West), Apolonia Munzverengi (Mashonaland East), Monica Mavhunga (Mashonaland Central), Ellen Gwaradzimba (Manicaland), Larry Mavhima (Midlands), Ezra Chadzamira (Masvingo), Abednico Ncube (Matabeleland South) and Richard Moyo as Matabeleland North minister.
Mnangagwa is still to appoint the Provincial Affairs minister for Harare.

Former Finance minister and opposition leader Tendai Biti said although the new Treasury boss was a respected financial guru with the capacity to turn around the economy, it remains to be seen if Mnangagwa would give him political space to fully execute the “good vision he might have”.

“I feel pity for Mthuli Ncube. He has the technical ability to run a disciplined economy, but I don’t see him having that stamina to control Zanu PF’s appetite of uncontrolled expenditure. The appetite to steal is so pronounced in Zanu PF and definitively agents of doom in the corridors of power will work against him. I don’t see him being able to withstand the corruption in Zanu PF. One good thing which we all must celebrate is the departure of Patrick Chinamasa, he was the worst minister of Finance we have ever seen,” he said.

“We need to celebrate the departure of Obert Mpofu as well as the likes of Supa Mandiwanzira. It is good riddance, and they belong to Chikurubi (Maximum Security) Prison. But generally, expecting anything from Zanu PF is a dead hope. They are just incompetent and corrupt.”

Harare-based independent economist John Robertson said Mnagagwa’s choice sounded “very encouraging, especially on the choice of Finance minister”.

“That’s a very good foundation for the country’s economic recovery prospects,” he said. “I hope the President will permit those ministers to exercise their skills without interference.”

Ncube (55) is a former chief economist and vice-president at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and was also a lecturer in finance at the London School of Economics and Wits Business School in South Africa.

He founded Zimbabwe’s Barbican Bank and asset management company, which were, however, put into administration by the central bank in 2005 after only two years of operations.
The bank’s licence was later cancelled.

Ncube will be tasked with crafting an economic recovery programme as well as coming up with strategy to pay off Zimbabwe’s $1,8 billion arrears to the World Bank and AfDB.

Denford Mutashu of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers said Ncube had the capacity to deliver provided that there was political will and support from other government bureaucrats.

“We are hopeful that at least we have a new Minister of Finance whom we think and hope can instil discipline in a government that has been enjoying uncontrolled spending,” Mutashu said.

“The big issue is that he is not in Zanu PF structures, hence we think he could show some power and ability to regulate expenditure. He has a reputation to protect.

“He is one person who has no scandals to deal with. We are also happy with the mixture of the youth in the Cabinet, they will learn from the experienced and infuse new ideas. We hope the old guard in government will allow fresh ideas to run through and ensure that we have economic development.”

War veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said they were happy with the appointment of Muchinguri and Matemadanda in the Defence ministry, saying they had a better appreciation of issues affecting the security sector.

“We are delighted with the appointment of Cde Oppah Muchinguri and Victor Matemadanda to be responsible for our welfare. These two people have been with us for a very long time and appreciate our plight,” Mahiya said.

“We know that our concerns and those of our people are well represented by these two. Cde Matemadanda has been through the trenches with us and we are quite happy that he will carry our story and ensure we have land, we have mines as well as our social being.”

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  1. ED Pfee lets move on now with the new team and forget about detractors as aptly put by chiwenga at the end of the 5 year period every zimbabwean will have something to smile about.

  2. lets rebuild our great nation!

  3. kid marongorongo

    What can Biti say, i wish the new servants a prosperous term of office.

  4. Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakomurudohamandishe

    Comment…Panodiwa results kuwona kugona kwevanhu. Nekudaro, vatungamiri vavepo, Mutungamiri, 2 Vatevedzeri, 20 Makurukota, 13 Vatevedzeri veMakurukota, 9+1 Hre Makurukota eMatunhu * 46. Vatevedzeri, kana Gurukota riri pazororo Gurukota rerimwe bazi ndiro rinosara richibata basa. Nekudaro, mawonero angu dai pasina kuiskwa vatevedzeri, sezvo mabasa mazhinji achitwa nana Mabharani Vakuru veMapazi eHurumende. Zvisineyi, ndozvavepo.
    Chodiwadiwa kuwona kuti vabharuka mabhachi nekushanda. Mabhanga emumigwagwa ndaapere vaNcube. Nekuti pane munyori
    akambonyora nezvePAJERO inogovera mari paCopacabana, Eastgate, Roadport nedzimwe nzvimbo, asi apana chakaitwa. Zvisineyi munyori apakapa model, reg, ruvara, nguva nechimiro chemudzimai anoichaira. Ndivimba rwerwuno pachavewo nesanduko pakupera kwemabhanga atekeshera migwagwa yose yenyika. Minda, ivhu ngarishande vaShiri, kwete kuti minda ive masango ekuvhima nekuchera mbeva. Zvekurimisa ngazviwanikwe nemitengo inokwaskwa nevarimi uye nenguva. VaMatema, vanenge vatyora mitemo ngavasungwe pasingatangwe patariskwa hukuru hwemunhu muHurumende. Gurukota rehutano, mishonga ngayiwanikwe muzvipatara. MaKurukota edzidzo, dzidzo ngadzigadzriskwe zvienderane nedzimwe nyika. Muchidimu, ngatiite kuti Zimbabwe ive nyika inoyemurwa. Kwete nyika inongorambosemesa neHUWORI, NHAMO NEMATAMBUDZIKO. Atadza basa ngaaende kupurazi kwake kunorima, poiskwa mumwe. Nekudaro, FIRST THINGS FIRST in a S.M.A.R.T way.

  5. We are all desperate for meaningful change and yet we must guard against the tendency of hearing the cackle of a hen (especially a broiler) and then rushing to make a fire to boil some eggs.

  6. As ZANUPF we say no GNU please

  7. Mazonde wekwaMazonde

    This article is edited from an obituary that prophets of doom had already penned and don’t want to depart from their doom forecasts.

    When I read this; “Analysts, however, described Mnangagwa’s new 20-member Cabinet as largely uninspiring, as it was still dominated by recycled old guards who served in former President Robert Mugabe’s administration”, I was expecting to see the analysts who ‘described the cabinet as uninspiring’ and found none. Yes, none because Tendai Biti can’t be counted as an analyst – we all know his side.

    I tried to look for technocrats, and I saw more than just 3 mentioned in the article. Finance, Public Service, Health, Industry, Mines, Higher Education, all have technocrats. Kirsty too. She’s practiced sports at the highest level.

    In the end, I saw some journos who are really excited by people’s suffering and want things to stay the same or get worse. Even Biti that they quoted didn’t ‘cast aspersions’ as purported in this article.

    If you were going, to be honest for once, you would have recognised that this is probably the best cabinet in years.

    The economy functions with confidence. If people and investors are confident of the drivers, the economy responds positively. Even Biti didn’t do much when he was the Finance Minister other than inspiring some confidence. That confidence resulted in supermarkets being stocked in under 1 week. By then he was yet to even pronounce his policies. In fact, the confidence started budding when the economy was ‘dollarised’ in January 2009 before the Inclusive Government.

  8. Comment…Thank you we look forward for a better Zimbabwe.but l think yu should also deal with those ex ZANU of thieves (corrupt)ppl e l think the any corruption team are in picture of them,to make a good example to this new team .Tanzwa nenhamo veduwee .the poor decoming more poorer .lvo vachiita mafarm 10/10 .haaa thankx papa let’s wait and see.

  9. I still feel the ministerial posts are too many. I expected only 16 and is it really necessary to say every minister has a deputy. Other ministries could combined when it comes to deputy ministers.

    1. Panodawo reshuffle from permanent secretaries zvchidzika nokuti thats where implementation of government policy falls flat on its face. Dead wood muCivil service must just make way for young people with more energy and current knowledge plus vision

  10. the new cabinet is not the solution kusvikira iwe extended dambudziko wabvuma problem we are where mugabe left us

  11. This government gives us hope,of course there are some old guards and that’s understandable because you can’t completely phase out experience but gradually.

  12. I congratulate His Excellency for a job well done on the appointment of a new look leaner cabinet. I feel the blending of a few old guards with young ones is positive development. It is good start anyway. Rome was not built in one day. The rot has been built up over a long time and we can not expect ED to cleanse the system in seconds. Let’s give him a chance. He has shown that he is wiling to bring change. Again, Congrats Shumba. You have once again regained my heart after having thrown you into the bin following your appointment of the previous cabinet. Had you done this then, there would have been no such thing as Concourt election challenge by Chamisa. You would have won by a margin that no one sane person could ever challenge.

  13. Comment…Thank you ED. May God bless you and grant you his wisdom to lead this country.

  14. Wellington Nhando

    Newsday has slumped to an all new low what kind of reporting is this, instead of casting a voice in the swansong of hope u guys just focus on ills, which political analysts are you talking about as well, I only heard encouraging commentary from the slew of foreign analysis

  15. Daily News, we are worried by your reporting….. to the new team of cabinet ministers we are supporting you. We are giving you a chance.

  16. “We need to celebrate the departure of Obert Mpofu as well as the likes of Supa Mandiwanzira. It is good riddance, and they belong to Chikurubi (Maximum Security) Prison” said Biti.
    Mr. Biti please make sure that there are no skeletons in your cupboard during your tenure as the Minister of Finance during the GNU.

  17. Biti is not a political analyst but a bitter member of a losing “soon to crumble party”. He in my view was the worst finance minister of all time. For him to believe the lies that rated him above the Chidzeros & the Chambatis shows his shocking levels of idiocy. Munangagwa did a commendable job in selecting his cabinet . What remains is for the cabinet to perform so that we put the concrete on the graves of Chamisa & Biti’s political career.

  18. Patrick Chinamasa, Obert Mpofu and Mangudya can fcuck off !!!

  19. Shandayishandayi Mukagaratinodyeyi

    Comment…Mari dzose ngadzifambe negwara rimwe, rinova gwara rainofanirwa kufamba naro. Uye kuti tikwanise kupiwa mari nenyika DZOSE dzirikushuvira kutibatsira ndokunge tatanga tatapudza mabhanga emumigwagwa. Pasinazvo apana chedu. Tisarambe tichinyeperana. Nekuti apana angada kungokanda mari yake mumugwagwa. Kana ndimiwo kungasava kupenga here? VaNcube navaMangundya ndimi varongi vehwaro hweupfumi. VaChitando, zvicherwa ngazvifambe negwara, yopindazve muHOMWE yenyika. Towgates, Zimra nevamwe vose mari ngadziwongororwe mafambiro adzo. VaJ Moyo tatarisana nemwaka wemvura, migero ngayivhurwe. Kwete kutanga kuvhura migero muna Mbudzi. Tizonzwazve kuti akuna dhiziri akuchina iyo nyika ichida kuguta.. Vana GAMAURERE mombe yambe yangu, kudanga. Mumahofisi mosara vasnhu vanoshanda.

  20. Blacks are corrupt, incompetent, stup!d, lazy, myopic, greedy. Nothing meaningful will come out of the cabinet. The only meaningful appointment is minister of sports. July Moyo is lazy and inactive and was appointed only to loot councils revenue. July Moyo and Ignatius Chombo are the same. Munangaza should fire ministers who under performs.

  21. Comment…musoni kana usina zvekutaura y dont u shut up apinda papi chamisa ipapa, tongai tione

  22. Encouraging cabinet, my question is do we really need 2 vice presidents in a country that is operating on a negative budget.. That’s too heavy for the country to lift up.

  23. Some people are so emotionally invested in Politicians. They just praise anything and everything without thinking. This Cabinet is still too big for the country’s economy. Those two VPs are not necessary – only one VP like Nkosana Moyo would have signalled some seriousness on the part of the new Government. How will the promised Provincial Councils work alongside the newly appointed Mugabe-era Provincial Ministers? Do we really need so many Deputy Ministers? 90% of the Zim Budget goes to paying salaries – how can you rebuild a ruined economy with only 10% of the budget going into the productive sectors and services? People must learn to think and stop this praise singing and hero worshiping. Its clear Politics still dominates decision making instead of economics despite Mnangagwa’s promises. People like Mthuli have been set up to fail as those old ZANU PF hardliners deployed to their Headquarters will be calling the shots and resisting any decisions they see as a threat to ZANU PF’s hold on power. Mark my word. Mthuli will resign in the not so distant future – politics still calls the shots!!

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