STAFF WRITER 13 September 2018
HARARE – Despite earlier criticism aimed at his capacity, Zimbabweans have
so far seen an Emmerson Mnangagwa who represents a refreshing departure
from his predecessor, former president Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe had become so predictable that anyone could foretell his Cabinet
cast after elections. There were certain permanent features of Mugabe’s
Cabinet and he never bothered to consider meritocracy in coming up with
Zimbabweans from across the political divide have thus welcomed
Mnangagwa’s Cabinet that was sworn in on Monday, somehow effectively
giving it the seal of approval.
Its diverse composition and the fact that it does not have perennial
under-performers from the Mugabe era are clear positives that have perhaps
swayed most Zimbabweans to throw their weight behind Mnangagwa’s Cabinet.
With the exception probably of Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Sithembiso Nyoni
and Prisca Mupfumira, the only other old faces in the new Cabinet are
Joram Gumbo and July Moyo.
Moyo had a stint at the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
ministry, from where he was shunted into political darkness following the
infamous Tsholotsho Declaration of November 2004.
On the other hand, Gumbo spent decades as Zanu PF’s chief whip in
Parliament, only to land his first Cabinet posting following the 2013
elections. Also, all the nine Provincial Affairs ministers appointed this
time are new faces. This should pave way for smooth implementation of
devolution if government finally decides to walk its talk.
On the whole, people’s judgment on the potential of the new Cabinet is not
in doubt. What remains is whether there is going to be executive will
power to let them do their work. This autonomy and space remains vital,
otherwise all the excitement will be extinguished.
The proof of the pudding is indeed in the eating. Once they get to start
work and how they will strike a balance between government and party
politics will determine how successful they will be in their various
If they do not look at that seriously, their epitaphs could be written
well before they even begin their tours of duty.
Hopefully, the current Cabinet is going to immediately expend all their
energies on turning around the fortunes of the country and dump all
self-centred traits that showed so evidently in previous teams tasked with
driving Zimbabwe’s agenda forward.
Because of their ineptitude and clear knowledge that no one was watching
their performance, they collectively continued taking – with the rest of
the citizens in tow – the country astray. Today, Zimbabwe has, as a
result, been condemned into the dustbin of failed nation states.