‘The dream has turned into a nightmare’: Zimbabweans respond to new cabinet 

Source: ‘The dream has turned into a nightmare’: Zimbabweans respond to new cabinet | News24 2017-12-01

Harare – Zimbabweans have been sharing their disappointment over news that a new cabinet appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwahas not made a break with the past.

Most people woke up to news on Friday that the cabinet not only included veterans of Robert Mugabe‘s previous cabinets, but prominent members of the military.

‘A cabinet or a regiment?’

Airforce commander, Perrance Shiri is now the new agriculture minister. Brigadier-General Sibusiso Moyo – who Zimbabweans got to know on November 15 when he went on state TV to announce a military takeover – is the new foreign minister.

“Is this a CABINET or a REGIMENT?” quipped Zimbabwean comedian, Carl Joshua Ncube on Twitter.

Across Zimbabwe’s vibrant social media community, the mood was glum.

Tweeted @SiphoMalunga: “This looks like the unexpected reality I spoke about. And the Zimbabwe dream has turned into a nightmare so that it’s awful to be asleep and equally terrible to be awake.”

Great hopes

Many had anticipated that Mnangagwa, sworn in amid great hopes last Friday, would use the new cabinet to build bridges in politically polarised Zimbabwe and reinforce the message that the country was changing tack after years of crisis and uncertainty under Mugabe’s rule.

There were even suggestions Mnangagwa would include members from opposition parties in his new government.

But that was not to be.

“Most of the people in this new Cabinet don’t possess any new and refreshing ideas to breathe life into the comatose economy,” said Obert Gutu, spokesman for Morgan Tsvangirai‘s MDC party.

Gutu said the new cabinet showed there would be “absolutely no fundamental change in the government’s approach going forward.”

Ready for elections

Tendai Biti, who was finance minister in the 2009-2013 coalition government and credited with stabilising the economy, wrote on Twitter: “Up until now, we had given the putsch the benefit of the doubt. We did so in the genuine, perhaps naive view that the country could actually move forward… How wrong we were.”

But presidential spokesperson George Charamba said calls for another unity government now were impractical, with elections just round the corner.

“If you look at the schedule for elections we are about plus or minus six months before they are held and certainly it would not make sense to talk about (a government of national unity) for those remaining months,” he told Friday’s state-run Herald daily.

“Parties must ready themselves for elections,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    Jonsina 5 years ago

    I think the President tried his best to assemble this cabinet under extremely tough conditions. Imagine yourself surrounded by 200 or so pleading friends, relatives, comrades and supporters and of course the gunmen. Mutsvangwa is a natural information person but should use simple English instead of statements like “gogombuyatiosly kantankarious” to the blinking of those listening trying to figure out if they have come across one of the words in their relatively long existence. There was one total miss though- Cain Mathema can easily win a global contest for the most useless public official. Maybe he excels in the kneeling business who knows.

    • comment-avatar
      Kutama 5 years ago

      This will be a beautiful tight knit cabinet. Their cohesion will be built on the Gukuruhundi and their wonderful ability to loot the resources of Zimbabwe. Not so much aluta continua – but “many looters continua.” The Gukuruhundi has been a wonderful sense of achievement by the Zanu Looters and Murderers Club and they will celebrate this heroism until they all buried at Gukuruhundi Acre for all such types. A sort of Murderer’s Paradise we could say. With 20 000 civilian murders being celebrated with a Minister of Agriculture portfolio – they all know that Shiri was Dead Right man of the moment then and now – none other than Black Jesus?

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      Chatham House 5 years ago

      Best we call it the Emmerson Junta.

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 5 years ago

    OK… let’s have a show of hands… who’s the least bit surprised???

    Sure, there was jubilation to see Mugabe go. But, then it lingered as if freedom had finally arrived. Perhaps it was only a display of simple, naive minds whose expectations had no connection whatsoever to reality. I suspect most were those who cheered Mugabe at his rallies. With no jobs, maybe they just had nothing else to do.

    As one Zim friend said today, “Well, we had our five minutes of ‘freedom’.” How true.

    But, reality was bound to return sooner or later. Nothing has changed…. not one single thing. Yet, people are already returning to the “blind-eye syndrome” and making excuses… exactly as they did with Mugabe. “Things will get better”, “just give him time”, “that’s not important”. And here we go around the Mulberry Bush again… exactly as before.

    Wake up, folks..! ZANU-PF is still in control. So, those at the top still have the mansions, fancy cars, and off-shore accounts, all funded by stolen billions… exactly as before. Political enemies are still being pursued, people are still afraid…. exactly as before.

    How truly sad that everything is exactly as before. I’m not playing the part of a killjoy… I’m only facing fealty… Mnangagwa played a hoax on Zimbabwe.

  • comment-avatar

    Thus wonderful

  • comment-avatar
    Cossam Zulu 5 years ago

    The main problem is that most of us equate popularity, prominence and position to correctness. When this thing started, most if not all the popular figures of our beloved country from the civil organisations, opposition parties to prominent individuals sang praises and some participated in the solidarity march; no need for names which are numerous in number, but I was one of the few people who foresaw danger and raised the red/yellow flag but none could see mainly because the messages were coming from the unknown, insignificant members of the society. Those interested can visit my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cossam.zulu and read my post of 21 November and my tweets at https://twitter.com/CossamZulu on 22 Nov. From there you will see that this has not come as a surprise to some of us as we did warn the public

  • comment-avatar
    charlemagne 5 years ago

    The opposition should capitalise this situation. No need to cry foul. It was never an opposition’s call.zanu was never obliged to include opposition

  • comment-avatar
    Soothsayer 5 years ago

    Charlemagne, you are bang on the money. Folks are either naiive or drinking too much BBC propaganda. “Unity Governement” when there is an election in just over 6 months… utter nonsense. Stop whingeing, organize yourselves, put an organized and structured and strionger alternative on the table. Biti should spend his time building his party or coalition instead of sucking white man dick in Sandton, in London, etc… Get off your knees man – organize.