Mugabe to unveil new Cabinet

HARARE - President-elect Robert Mugabe chooses a new Cabinet this week to overcome Zimbabwe’s economic crisis and diplomatic isolation as lobbying for ministerial posts reaches fever pitch.

A hard-line, former school teacher and Zimbabwe’s only leader since independence in 1980, Mugabe takes office tomorrow after scoring a 61 percent landslide in the July 31 presidential election over four rivals, including long time foe Morgan Tsvangirai, who came second with a distant 34 percent of the vote.

The 89-year-old Zanu PF leader has promised to continue spearheading an indigenisation drive to transfer ownership of foreign firms into the hands of local blacks, combat unemployment, and pursue a more “constructive” foreign policy.

Mugabe, who won the support of largely rural voters but who also has good ties with his hard core urban electorate, is expected to choose a Cabinet from across Zanu PF’s competing factions on the basis of their experience rather than political loyalties.

Official sources said Mugabe is preparing to announce his new Cabinet line-up, boasting the greatest ever number of women, and some old and new faces.

Sources have called it a mix of experience but also renewal.

In an address at the Harare International Airport on Sunday soon after his arrival back home from Malawi for the 33rd ordinary summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government, Mugabe confirmed he will take oath on Thursday after which he will appoint a new Cabinet.

Parliament is expected to be sworn-in first and from the legislature, will emerge nominees, mainly seasoned technocrats who have served under his regime for a span and a sprinkling of young blood.

Among the young turks being touted for Cabinet are Supa Mandiwanzira, Daniel Shumba, Dexter Nduna, Temba Mliswa, Paul Chimedza, among others.

Both the Joice Mujuru and the Emmerson Mnangagwa factions were said to have submitted their “line-ups”, party sources said, adding either of the factions in Parliament were likely to oppose some of his choices.

  Another name being touted for the key portfolio is that of Emmerson Mnangagwa and Patrick Chinamasa, who acted as Finance minister in 2009 when Zimbabwe ditched use of a worthless Zimdollar currency for a basket of foreign currencies. But the two were likely to remain in their portfolios, according to other sources.

Zanu PF is unlikely to offer any posts to the MDC, according to senior sources, and predicted that 80 percent of Mugabe’s Cabinet nominees would come from Zanu PF, and perhaps handpick technocrats from business. Names being touted include Joseph Kanyekanye.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed no invitation will be extended to the MDC to join the next government.

“We have a big pool of our party members for the president to choose from,” Gumbo said.

Zanu PF would bar “those who oppose indigenisation.” Senior sources said the Indigenisation ministry required “active diplomacy” and a shuffle, with Mugabe facing a tough juggling act whether to keep Savior Kasukuwere or go for new cadre deployment.

Western sanctions imposed over Zimbabwe’s disputed elections and bloated human rights record have halved Harare’s exports since 2001, and its aging mineral-rich fields need crucial foreign investment to also address burgeoning unemployment.

In addition to repairing the economy, Mugabe’s Zanu PF has pledged to improve Zimbabwe’s image abroad, which was tarnished by the veteran ruler’s bellicose statements against Western countries.

On Sunday, Mugabe said all countries and organisations from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, which observed the do-or-die elections spoke with one voice, scoffing at condemnation of the vote from Western countries.

The US State Department said on Monday it did not believe the election was free and fair, saying it will maintain sanctions on Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies.

Gumbo has said Zanu PF would pursue threat prevention and alleviation of tensions in its foreign policy, and that the party will keep its doors open for Western countries who wish to open a new page of “mutually respectful re-engagement.”

Senior sources said Mugabe’s pick for Foreign minister will remain Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who has been at the centre of several rounds of secret negotiations to try to overcome decades of estrangement and sanctions between Washington, London and Brussels on one side and Harare.

Mumbengegwi, a Mugabe loyalist, is a tough talking diplomat, whom his Zanu PF colleagues call “the best man for the job”, saying Zimbabwe right now needed a “completely aware, efficient and expert” Foreign minister.

Comments (11)

Gumbo keep the west alone and keep looking east.

ATZ - 21 August 2013

they always say england chinyika chinotonhora, so ngavagare muzimboland

GOREKORE - 21 August 2013

Kwaita dhiziri kuChinhoyi.....rawanikwa nen'anga........and so the lyrics went on and on. Zimbos have a short memory. Rotina Mavhunga might come in as Energy and Power minister. After all the boss can appoint another 5 unelected MPs!!!

Cuthbert Mithi - 21 August 2013

Zimboland ka 1, Mdara, hezvo vese varikuda Harare. Happy Inauguration day!!!!

Sunungurai Matongo - 21 August 2013

GIFT PHIRI, the discredited MDC-T propagandist, has no capacity to analyse the political issues particularly those concerning developments in ZANU(PF) considering his convoluted views just before the recent presidential elections. The witless GIFT PHIRI predicted that his political guru former Prime Minister Tsvangirai would win by 61 per cent. The rest is history. My view on mercenary GIFT PHIRI is that he should resign from the journalism profession and I urge the Daily News for the good of the paper. As for the soiled GIFT PHIRI and the former Prime Miinister Tsvangurai, the two should hide while they lick their putrid and maggot infested wounds.

Robison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 21 August 2013

Its Zanu pf cabinet we won elections President RG Mugabe will announce machinja moyo uchatsva

Colonel - 21 August 2013

more dead woods are going to shadow the cabinet mutasa minister of discoveres and and diseal pachinoyiiiii

stephen - 21 August 2013

Baba Rabison Nyundo vanenge vanorwara nepfungwa. How reporting on a survey makes the Daily News's Gift Phiri guilty of "treason" in this Zanu PF zealot's twisted mind boggles the mind. Please keep up the good work Mukoma Phiri. You are one of the best and most fearless writers in Zimbabwe – traits that are sadly lacking in Zimbabwean media.

Mercy - 21 August 2013

I agree with Mercy..both Gift and Conrad are seasoned reporters whose contribution have made the Daily news a must read in the land. The president would be doing himself one huge favour if he brought in new people..the old lot were an unmitigated disaster..this on both sides of the political divide and should he be tempted to invite someone from industry I think he is better off with either Katsande, Jokonya, Nigel Chanakira, Strive Masiiwa, ex Coca Cola's Steve Kuipa, or ex Unilever's Nyereyegona or ZNCCs former boss Zembe. Whatever he does he should run for his life from Kanyekanye..the poor man is a walking disaster!!!!

gutter poet - 21 August 2013

Chinotimba for Land Ministry please!! What a joke ZANU PF are.

Madlezinye - 22 August 2013

To Mercy and gutter poet what incensed/angered most is that GIFT PHIRI ,who is certainly a seasoned journalist(certainly not professionally mature) , allowed his article to be highlighted by an obvious propaganda survey. By choosing this particular survey, it becomes very obvious that GIFT PHIRI is an MDC-T no see evil - no hear evil - no speak evil supporter who probably hoped that his chosen party would win. By going along with the Tsvangirai 61 per certain win - GIFT PHIRI - as they say in Shona: ukadziya Moyo we mbavha, iwe uri mbavha wo (guilt by association). Mercy and gutter poet thank you.

Robison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 22 August 2013

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