via Mugabe’s new line-up does not inspire confidence | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda
President Robert Mugabe’s new cabinet does not inspire any confidence as it was selected on patronage and not merit, according to analysts and senior opposition figures.
The new line-up is packed with diehard loyalists, some of whom were members of the first post independence cabinet. With Mugabe at the helm of government since 1980, others who have been with him through thick and thin are Joice Mujuru (33 years), Sydney Sekeramayi (33 years), Emmerson Mnangagwa (28 years) and Didymus Mutasa (23).
Mugabe and his leading cabinet ministers together hold more than 150 years of experience in government. But Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC-T’s deputy national organising secretary, equated the ‘new’ cabinet to one of the ‘world’s biggest dinosaur parks.’
‘Most are already past their use-by date,’ said Bhebhe, adding that people think Mugabe is carrying too much deadwood in the cabinet as it contains ‘tired brains.’
‘It has a lot of people that have been tried and failed not tried and tested. I don’t see them coming up with fresh ideas and skills to outshine the poverty that is prevailing in the country.
‘It is a heap of deadwood selected from patronage,’ said Bhebhe, who is a leading candidate to land a shadow portfolio post in the party led by former Premier Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MDC-T MP for Nkayi South said there was nothing in the cabinet which inspired confidence that this government means business.
‘The composition of Mugabe’s new team does not show strong intent to bring about reforms nor is the incoming government serious in improving the current economic logjam the country is in,’ added Bhebhe.
Gideon Chitanga, a PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa, explained that there is also nothing new about Mugabe’s way of doing business, which is mainly that of rewarding loyalists.
Chitanga told SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program on Wednesday that a sweeping cabinet makeover would have come as welcome evidence the government is moving in a different direction.
‘Mugabe’s two thirds majority victory gave him an opportunity to drop non-performers and stuff his cabinet with new faces to strengthen public support for the government.
‘But as usual he missed the opportunity and ended up recycling deadwood and some who have been politically rehabilitated, like Dzikamai Mavhaire,’ said Chitanga.
He continued: ‘This is clearly attested by his cabinet which mostly comprises his legion of loyalists. There is also nothing new about his cabinet as some of these ‘new’ officials were in the first government of Prime Minister Mugabe of 1980.
‘This ‘new’ government is full of old relics. Zimbabwe shall continue going nowhere with this ‘new’ crowd. Mugabe’s passion is to personally consolidate his hold on state power and control and keeping ZANU PF together,’ Chitanga said.