'Mugabe's Cabinet reshuffle useless'

HARARE - Political analysts have dismissed the recent mini-Cabinet reshuffle by President Robert Mugabe saying the move is just like re-arranging of chairs on the deck of a sinking Titanic.

Former minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Jonathan Moyo was shunted to position of minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development while Zanu PF secretary for administration and former minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, was moved to the ministry of Home Affairs.

Chombo’s political rival and Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere was moved from the Water ministry to the Local Government portfolio.

Oppah Muchinguri was removed from the Higher Education ministry to replace Kasukuwere at the Environment, Water and Climate post.

Kembo Mohadi, who had been Home Affairs was posted to the vacant portfolio of State Security, in the President’s Office while Nyasha Chikwinya was given the vacant position of minister of Women’s Affairs.

Mugabe also swore in Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri as the new minister of State for Mashonaland East replacing the hapless Biggie Matiza who was only elected the party’s substantive chairperson for the province at the weekend.

Human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga said it is difficult to see how the recent mini-Cabinet reshuffle addresses the key challenges facing the country, including corruption, human rights abuses, and massive poverty.

“If anything, this reshuffle points to cunning Machiavellian politics deployed in a vain attempt to douse the flames of factionalism that threaten to consume the beleaguered ruling party.

“The simple truth of the matter, however, is that no amount of re-arranging of chairs on the deck of a sinking Titanic will save the ship, what is needed is to directly resolve the succession question — Zimbabwe needs a new captain at the deck.”

Playwright Leonard Matsa said for the stock market or generality of suffering Zimbabweans, Cabinet appointments or reshuffling have meant nothing over the years.

“They only serve to provide insight into the knife-edge political dynamics within the ruling Zanu PF party.  From the conversations in kombis, street corners and social media — the people are not expecting anything, and they might get exactly that, from the appointments or re-deployments as far as national issues are concerned.”

Media activist Tabani Moyo said this is a clear indication of putting too much power in a single person’s hands.

“Firstly the concept of reshuffle is tired and year-century concept. If Mugabe thought the ministers are not performing, fire them and replace them with new ones on meritocracy.

“Shuffling old and tired ministers from one portfolio to the other has become the norm in the history of this country yet its end has always and will remain catastrophic.”

Moyo said if Zimbabwe is to turn around its fortunes there is need to revisit the methodology of one qualifying as a minister rather than narrow political interests.

“Secondly, one gets a feeling that Mugabe wanted to deal with (Jonathan) Moyo, which he did but rather went for a so-called Cabinet reshuffle dragging some few ministers with him in the process.

“What type of a reshuffle is this which removes a minister from a portfolio and leaves it vacant? So to me this whole process is simply a non-event. It is a waste of our time since it does not in any way seek to address the run-away economy and the poisoned political environment which Zimbabwe is continuously subjected to.”

Centre for Community Development of Zimbabwe, CCDZ director Phillip Pasirayi said there is not much to expect from the new ministers.

“In the past we have had good people appointed to those positions but they were not able to influence any major policy changes to improve people’s lives because that’s how the system operates. So the public should not expect much from the ministers.

“The appointments are largely to do with patronage and to resolve factionalism. There is not going to be any major policy changes. What we need is an overhaul of the entire system. In other words we need a new crop of leaders who even if they do not hold PhDs, have the interests of the people.

“The new ministers do not inspire confidence. They are the same individuals who in the past pursued policies that continue to hurt our economy.”

Pasirayi said it remains to be seen whether there is going to be any paradigm shift.

“It will also be interesting to see the kind of policies that the new Local government minister Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Moyo would pursue.

“There is no doubt that Moyo has the right credentials to head the Higher Education ministry but it remains to be seen whether Zanu PF will allow him to address the myriad challenges in this sector.

“The same with Kasukuwere - the public is waiting to see how he is going to address the challenges of poor service delivery in local authorities and incompetent town clerks that have been protected in the past by his predecessor.

“Kasukuwere will also be expected to have dialogue with vendors instead of the militant approach adopted by his predecessor.”

Political commentator Mcdonald Lewanika said the significant development is around the movements of Moyo and Chombo.

“Ultimately it seems this reshuffle strengthens the hand of (Emmerson) Mnangagwa through seeming demotions to perceived opponents like Moyo whose influence seemed to be on the uptick, while Chombo loses the patronage access he had with local government but seems to occupy a more influential position which allows him some influence over the police,” said Lewanika.

He added that at another level Kasukuwere’s appointment to local government is a bit worrying as it strengthens his position as Zanu PF commissar as “he will now have access to pre-bands and have opportunities to exercise patronage in resource allocation to Zanu PF of structures especially around residential and commercial stands, as well as vending sites and staff which all fall under the remit in one way or another of local government.

“He will be strengthened politically as he can use ministerial clout and access for Zanu PF organising and commissariat work.”

Journalist Ray Mawerera said the recent reshuffle certainly put paid to the speculation regarding what was happening with Moyo.

“Seriously though, it looks like all the new appointees — save perhaps for Mohadi (who gets a broader security mandate) — are venturing into entirely fresh territory for each of them.

“Hopefully, they will inject equally fresh vision and leadership but let’s give them time to find their feet and see what they do with their first 100 days.”

An international media correspondent said Mugabe is trying to dilute simmering succession tensions, that had created alternative power centres post Zanu PF December Congress.

“The main target was former Information minister, Moyo.

“His new ministry should not be seen as having been regularised and should not be seen as having been reassigned. He was demoted and thrown to a mild ministry that will divorce from an influential ministry that he had used to cut the legs of his enemies short, and often, much to the chagrin of his boss.

“He was creating a new power centre that was running a new strategy out of Mugabe’s preferred new chain of party political command that was headed by Mnangagwa.

“That was Moyo’s mistake. All the same, despite the reshuffle, Zanu PF’s succession politics is far from over. They shall play out in a big and divisive way ahead of the 2018 polls, which shall usher in a dark horse and a surprise winner.”

A journalist who preferred to remain anonymous thinks this is all mere political tinkering! He said a genuine Cabinet reshuffle in Zimbabwe should urgently seek to kick start economic revival.

“This one offers no hope to an economy that has collapsed with over 90 percent unemployment, a biting liquidity crunch, wide-spread poverty among other serious challenges.

“It is not performance-related and therefore not geared to revive the dead economy. If it was, priority should have been given to ministries such as: Industry and Commerce, Finance and Economic Planning, Agriculture, Employment Creation, the key drivers of economic re-birth. The incumbent Ministers in those key ministries have no clue and must be replaced.”

He said this reshuffle is clearly an attempt to deal with renewed succession related Zanu PF factional fights, which has refused to go way with the removal of former Vice President, Joice Mujuru.

“Moyo’s abuse of State media was fuelling it, hence his removal. His new Ministry of Higher Education is a vast ministry, which will keep him dead-busy.

“Without unfettered access to the media, Moyo will struggle to impose his divisive and disruptive influence on the Zanu PF succession politics.

“Moving Kasukuwere to the Housing ministry, which houses chiefs, urban and rural councils among others, is an act of endorsement on the young politician, allowing him to expand and consolidate his political influence.

“It is perhaps the appointment of Chombo to the key Home Affairs ministry, which houses the police, which is instructive. Chombo remains President Mugabe’s most-trusted cadre and effective hired gun.

“He fought Zanu PF wars in MDC-dominated councils with “impressive” results. He used every trick in the book, to decimate, soil and scandalise the inexperienced and corruption-prone MDC-led councils leaving them scattered.”

Comments (8)

only if a think tank like prof J Moyo could get a chance to lead this country a lot would change for the beter zimbabwe needs younger leaders now.

bibo - 11 July 2015

Please we want to see a change we are tired of promises that will never happen.Hurumende do somerthing.

papa - 12 July 2015

reshuffle the president pliz.35yrs one president .what a shame

statesmam - 12 July 2015

reshuffle the president pliz.35yrs one president .what a shame

statesmam - 12 July 2015

Mugabe himself is useless

Ndosvotwa Mhani - 13 July 2015

A useless reshuffle Mugabe must go first.

chitsiga - 13 July 2015

MUGABE IS REALLY SLY AND DISGUSTING. HE MOVED IGNATIUS CHOMBO TO THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS SO THAT THE POLICE WILL NOT INVESTIGATE HIM FOR ALL THE ROTTEN LAND DEALS HE ENTERED INTO AND BENEFITED FROM WITH THE LIKES OF PHILIP CHIYANGWA ET ALL. THIS IS TRULY A DISGUSTING SHAMELESS GOVERNMENT OF THIEVES, OF WHOM MUGABE HIMSELF IS THE BIGGEST, AS IS SHOWN BY THE MASSIVE WEALTH HIS WIFE IS FLAUNTING ALL OVER ZIMBABWE. WHAT A SHAME!!!!

SHIBOBO - 13 July 2015

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