via Serious clashes loom in Zimbabwe | The Zimbabwean letter to the Editor 18.09.13
When it took Comrade Mugabe more than a month to announce his cabinet, many thought he was taking his time to come up with the best possible team to continue from where the Government of National Unity left off in turning around the economy. But alas, it appears the delay was caused by his efforts to try and consolidate his grip on Zimbabwe.
A surprising inclusion was the inclusion of 10 provincial ministers, given that the constitution now allows for provincial councils. Even though Zanu (PF) “won” the all provinces – except for Bulawayo, Harare and probably Matebeleland North – and would elect/appoint provincial chairpersons in those provinces, two main reasons led to the appointment of the provincial ministers – firstly because Mugabe had more friends who needed to be taken care of at the expense of the tax payers, and secondly he wanted to ensure total control in the provinces where the MDC will have provincial chairpersons.
Zimbabweans must expect serious clashes between the provincial ministers and provincial chairpersons in the provinces where the MDC will appoint provincial chairpersons. The provincial ministers are also part of Zanu (PF)’s campaign strategy for 2018, or whenever the next elections are to be held.
Most disappointing to progressive-minded citizens is the appointment of Patrick Chinamasa as Minister of Finance. Chinamasa’s reputation speaks volumes about his capability to fulfil this role. For example, he has been involved in ejecting business mogul Mutumwa Mawere from his business empire. Those with good memories will also remember that he was involved in secretly making alterations to the Global Political Agreement to suit Zanu (PF) interests, resulting in the Principals signing the wrong document. Most recently, he single-handedly succeeded in frustrating efforts to move the July 31 elections to a later date as suggested by SADC.
And Chinamasa was very quick to claim that Zimbabwe would increase economic ties with friendly countries like China to develop its economy as Western nations maintain their sanctions after Mugabe’s re-election. We all know that senior party officials have personally benefited from Chinese business with Zimbabwe – maybe this is what Chinamasa is after?
While it is too early to predict whether the recycled cabinet will bring about positive results, I believe that most Zimbabweans are very sceptical.