HARARE – Parliamentarians yesterday castigated President Emmerson Mnangagwa for dropping two of his Cabinet ministers barely 48 hours after their appointment.
At the weekend, Mnangagwa dropped two men he had originally named to his Cabinet in the face of public opposition: Lazarus Dokora, the very unpopular Primary and Secondary Education minister, whom he had originally intended to retain from former President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet, and Clever Nyathi, who was replaced with Petronella Kagonye apparently to improve women’s representation and to conform to the constitutional requirement that all but five ministers must be members of Parliament.
In terms of section 104 (3) of the Constitution, the president can only appoint a maximum of five Cabinet ministers outside Parliament, based on their special skill.
Mnangagwa had however, appointed eight ministers who are not MPs.
Musikavanhu MDC MP Prosper Mutseyami yesterday blasted Mnangagwa’s advisors saying they slept on the job.
“The president must look thoroughly on the house of advisors he has. Last time, former president was given a wrong speech to read by these same advisors, so the president must be careful.
“Here we are looking at the Constitution. The president’s advisors failed to advise the president and as MPs we are worried that the president named almost 10 ministers out of Parliament. However, he managed to reverse the decision,” Mutseyami said.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said: “Your point of order is noted …Mutseyami.”
Independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa said: “On the ground, people are disgruntled by Cabinet. If there are some people who are telling the president that his Cabinet is good, they are lying to the president. If you are facing allegations of corruption against, if the president approaches you, you must do an honourable thing by telling the president that you can’t because of those allegations.”
Mnangagwa swore in his new Cabinet on December 4. There was much disappointment on the make-up of the team which also includes two military men.
Major General Sibusiso Moyo, who appeared on State television on the morning of November 15 to announce the military takeover with the memorable words “the situation in our country has moved to a new level,” is the new Foreign Affairs minister. Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, who heads the air force and who led the Fifth Brigade during the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland in 1983-84, is now the Lands minister.
Chris Mutsvangwa, leader of the war veterans’ association, has been named special adviser to the president.