via Mugabe defends appointments – DailyNews Live by Thelma Chikwanha and Guthrie Munyuki 12 SEPTEMBER 2013
Mugabe yesterday defended his Cabinet appointments which analysts have slammed as recycling of deadwood.
Speaking to journalists at State House soon after the swearing-in of ministers and their deputies yesterday, Mugabe said his decisions were based on party loyalty.
“The decision was based on how much of Zanu PF are you, how long have you been with us and how educated you are?” Mugabe said.
He said his new administration comprised holders of university degrees save for one or two who had only attained Ordinary Level education.
The 89-year-old leader said he tried to strike a provincial balancing act.
“Are provinces represented as much as possible, at least three ministers in a province,” Mugabe said.
Reacting to criticism that women representation in Cabinet was appalling as there were only three women out of 26 ministers, Mugabe retorted: “Give us the women. This time we did proportional representation but there were just not enough women. Women are few in universities. It’s no longer necessary to do affirmative action; it’s free for all.
“Let women contest without preferential treatment. But this time around, we had to do affirmative action but the women would not emerge.”
Mugabe said some ministers were moved to new portfolios not because they performed poorly.
“Don’t judge people by their characteristics, don’t think that the one who talks too much performs better,” Mugabe said.
“Kasukuwere is an extrovert and Nhema is an introvert. If the introvert goes to sleep we will take him away.”
The veteran leader went against public expectation by not naming a State Security minister when he announced his new Cabinet on Tuesday — leading to speculation that he had not yet made a firm decision on who to appoint.
But he said he will run the national spy agency — the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) — historically one of his pillars of power.
Former State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi was reassigned to the Defence portfolio and there was no replacement.
“There is no vacancy,” Mugabe said. “It (CIO) has been always under the President’s Office. Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa will be in charge of the affairs, together with me,” Mugabe told journalists during a question and answer session. “In other countries they don’t even appoint a minister (for State Security)”.
Among the ministers who have run the CIO are Emmerson Mnangagwa, Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche and Sydney Sekaramayi, with some among the lot, more than once.
Mugabe pledged to put in place people-oriented programmes highlighted in the Zanu PF manifesto.
“The programme of government therefore for the next five years will be a programme of continuing some of the work the previous government left undone,” he said.
Mugabe said the cancer of corruption was difficult to detect.
“The one that one has emerged rich may not be proof of corruption, but those who know that there have been payments made must be able to come out and tell us. We cannot victimise people merely because they are Zanu PF,” he said.