Mugabe's Cabinet tribal, critics say

HARARE - Already under immense pressure from his ruling Zanu PF’s deadly factional and succession wars, President Robert Mugabe now stands accused of violating the country’s Constitution by appointing a gender and regionally “unrepresentative” Cabinet team.

Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku told the Daily News yesterday that there was no doubt that the nonagenarian was in the bad habit of violating the law regarding his Cabinet appointments.

“The Constitution has always been clear, and it has also been clear that Mugabe is always violating the Constitution from time to time.

“However, the gist of the matter is what remedies Zimbabweans have in such a scenario.

“The only remedy available to Zimbabweans is impeachment, but that is almost impossible to achieve as this is left in the hands of legislators, and with the majority that Zanu PF has, that is unlikely to happen,” Madhuku said.

The leader of the opposition National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) also went on to say that although the wording of the Constitution could be said to be vague regarding such appointments, Mugabe should still appoint his Cabinet teams “in the spirit of the supreme law of the land”.

“The drafters of the Constitution could have done much better like with the commissions where there is a stipulation in terms of gender. But let me say the president should appoint his cabinet in the spirit of the Constitution and carry out his appointments within that frame work.

“All the same, the Constitution could have said half of the Cabinet should consist of women and that would have been clearer. Even though it’s like that, we expect at least 40 percent of the Cabinet to be women. The only problem is with regional representation. It is next to impossible to get that but on gender it is very much feasible,” Madhuku added.

MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu — who is also a lawyer — said Mugabe was definitely pushing a tribal agenda.

“In contravention of Section 104 of the Constitution, there is no gender balance in Mugabe’s Cabinet.

“There are less than five women who are full Cabinet ministers in spite of the fact that women constitute at least 52 percent of the country’s population.

“There are also very few Cabinet ministers from Matabeleland and Masvingo. This state of affairs fits in snugly with Robert Mugabe’s Zezuru hegemony agenda. All the key ministries such as Local Government, Home Affairs and Defence are occupied by Zezurus or at the very least by people who hail from the Mashonaland provinces,” Gutu said.

However, MDC leader and constitutional law expert Welshman Ncube said Mugabe’s appointments should be analysed in the context of the 2013 national elections.

“I haven’t studied this carefully, but one should be guided by the election results of 2013. Although we can take note of section 18 of the Constitution, it is also important to appreciate the electoral outcome because ministers should be MPs.

“Take for example in 2013, Zanu PF did not win any parliamentary seat in Bulawayo and a president generally chooses ministers from his party.

“So, if Bulawayo had no Zanu PF MP, what did you expect him to do? The same goes for gender. How many women were elected MPs in 2013?

“If for example in Manicaland Zanu PF had 23 female MPs and only two of them were appointed ministers and six men were appointed ministers, then you can say the president violated the Constitution. So, all I am saying is Cabinet appointments should be analysed against the 2013 elections,” Ncube said.

Section 104 (4) of the new Constitution states that Mugabe should be guided by gender and regional representation when appointing ministers.

“In appointing ministers and deputy ministers, the President must be guided by considerations of regional and gender balance,” the Constitution reads.

Section 18 of the Constitution further states that the government should promote fair regional representation in all its institutions.

“The State must promote the fair representation of all Zimbabwe’s regions in all institutions and agencies of government at every level.

“The State and all institutions and agencies of the State and government at every level must take practical measures to ensure that all local communities have equitable access to resources to promote their development,” the Constitution reads.

However, an analysis of Mugabe’s Cabinet reflects anomalies, with some provinces having more representation than others. And in terms of gender, there are only three women in the Cabinet.

Manicaland comes first with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa; Women Affairs boss Nyasha Chikwinya; Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri; Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira; Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge; Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made; and Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment boss Christopher Mushohwe.

Mashonaland West is second and has Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora; War veterans minister, Chris Mutsvangwa; Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa; Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo; and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira.

Mashonaland Central has the ministerial portfolios of Local Government; Public Works and National Housing; and Primary and Secondary Education.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi, and Psychomotor minister Josiah Hungwe are the only current representatives from Masvingo.

Midlands also has two representatives in Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mashonaland East has Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa; Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi; and Industry minister Mike Bimha.

Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu; Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development minister Jonathan Moyo; and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni represent Matabeleland North.

Matabeleland South is represented by Sport, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa; Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Simon Khaya Moyo; and State Security minister Kembo Mohadi.

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko represents Bulawayo.

In 2013, Mugabe defended his decision to appoint few women to his Cabinet saying, “Education is for all now. It is mixed.

“The yield is the same. It is no longer necessary for us to have affirmative action. It is now free for all. Let women contest alongside men without any preferential treatment”.

Comments (23)

A whole province of Masvingo is represented by Mzembi (full cabinet minister) and Hungwe (heaven knows what his job is). Makaranga muri muDish

dick mboko - 18 July 2015

Madhuku is running out of ideas. 2013 Elections were held when you were present, why did u not contest and win so that you appoint your Ministers from every millimeter of Zimbabwe. Leave Mugabe alone to appoint people he trust most. Politics is a game of trust and hate. Show us your shadow government, and we can judge that not all Ministers come from Munyengwa or Gunda villages in Makoni nor anyone from Dimire in Chipinge. Taneta newe Madhuku.

Josiah Nyamunda - 18 July 2015

True . Let Mugabe appoint people he can trust in key ministries such as defence and home affairs . I think he is very fair on his cabinet appointments. Though the only problem is most of the cabinet ministers are just useless to say the least. For example Chombo , Made , Mpofu and Kasukuwire not forgetting Oppah . All this group is a total disaster. You hardly see any thing good that they do .

Dzasukwa - 18 July 2015

It is stupid to look at govt ministers only . From day one in 1980 Mugabe has been a tribalist who hated other tribes in this country and according to him all tribes in this country leaving out Shonas are second class citizens . We all know that all govt workers are from Mashonaland ,eg policemen ,soldiers, those who stamp passports at boarder posts located in matebeleland ,teachers , hotels, toll gates all are from mashonaland and during white rule it was not like that people of matebeleland worked in all companies private and public in their region . For 35 years Mugabe knows no local languages only Shona and if you can ask him how many languages are spoken in this country he does not know and does not care .He has spoiled the Shona people to a point that if they speak to any zimbabwean they do so in shona be it here or foreign land they do not mind to find out what language that zimbabwean speaks before they speak . This culture all started after 1980 and it is very bad as it causes serious hatred lets not talk about govt ministers only lets look right across the board . Just cross any border to any of our next door country you will see how they respect all tribes and that is ubuntu but we need to have Mugabe out of power to make people respect each other again in this country .

Diibulaanyika - 18 July 2015

Mugabe definitely isn't a tribalist. What he is though is someone with a serious psychological disorder who absolutely despises and form of opposition even from within his own clan. He likes to masquerade as Africa's foremost intellectual even trying to imitate the way the British monarchy speak English? Whereas if the man possessed even a single hint of common sense our country would not be in the very sad state it is today with such dire poverty and a totally ruined economy. Mugabe is a frightened man and is well aware of the wrongs and injustices he has committed and it is for this one and only reason that he and his wife so desperately want to cling on to power? Let us all get real even if the AU is incapable of doing so.

Spokes Mutoko - 19 July 2015

NemaNdebere mudish

Toots - 19 July 2015

Well said Spokes Mutoko - I think that is one of the most accurate descriptions of Mugabe I have ever read.

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CARTRIDGE GALLERY - 19 July 2015

Why did we end up having the minister of home affairs and his deputy coming from the same province, Mashonaland West?

machakachaka - 20 July 2015

VENGA MAKARANGA AT OWN RISK

tongai - 20 July 2015

i hav on many occassions disagreed with ZANUATION of things in this country but if you say Mgabes cabinets tribal i beg to differ.what abt oppah,kasu.mphoko. mnanga,matiza etc.the moment we begin to think tribally, we start to loose focus. if we have 80% of our choice 'coincidentally' coming from one area and that being the nations choice i dnt see anything wrong wth that bcse its democratic.isu ngatisarudze our people basing on their competencies not on their colour,religion,race,creed,tribe you name it.

OPMPOKONGAGWAWERERE - 20 July 2015

the fact of the matter is that majority rules we cant have descendants of shaka governing the country yet they are not native owners of this great land,just check the name of the country its REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE not mthwakazi it is not good to prioritise minority groups not at all besides it was this strange lobengula guy who signed a rudd concession proving that ndebeles are very primitive and foolish

gandaz - 20 July 2015

the fact of the matter is that majority rules we cant have descendants of shaka governing the country yet they are not native owners of this great land,just check the name of the country its REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE not mthwakazi it is not good to prioritise minority groups not at all besides it was this strange lobengula guy who signed a rudd concession proving that ndebeles are very primitive and foolish

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mama mather - 21 July 2015

Appointing cabinet from one tribe or from one regional I think is a common disease with black presidents. Here in Uganda, almost all posts go to the western, my region and Museveni's region and this is so unfair to other regions for it created hatred. Other people from other regions are against us the innocent souls.

Eddie - 21 July 2015

Gandaz. Lobengula might have been stupid fine. But given the circumstances did he have any choice? I think signing the Rudd concession was more like Hobson's choice. Anyway, what happened elsewhere in Africa and the other parts of the world where there was no Lobengula signing the Rudd concession? Were those areas not colonised? Well, this tribal fixation about critical issue will never take this nation anyway. For some people would rather have an incompetent dictator ruining (not running) the whole so long he is of their tribe it's fine. It makes me puke! Fast forward from the Rudd concession; more than a hundred years later which this group of learned Africans, some already boasting about five degrees each signing the Lancaster house agreement. There was no Lobengula then of course, there were some Ndebeles yes. Tell me then; what was worse between the Rudd concession and the Lancaster house agreement given the obtaining environment at the different time periods. Then the period 1980 to present........are the Ndebeles responsiblebfor the mess? Suppose had Zanu PF had implemdented Zapu strategies in running this country would we be where we are? Ask those who know about ZAPU's economic blue print...they will tell you about the land reform they started in 1980 using their demobilisation funds only for the projects to be destroyed by Gukurahundi......I can go on and on

educatedfool - 21 July 2015

Gandaz, Are Ndebeles descendents of Shaka? Where did you get this piece. It's terribly minded people like you who are destroying this country. The only people who can claim to be native to this country whom we have relegated to the edges of of nowhere. Do you know anything about Bantu migration? Truly speaking everyone through links with their ancestors has come from somewhere. By the way there was country or nation state called Zimbabwe before Rhodes' invasion

edu - 21 July 2015

This guy calling Ndebele people names is just an uneducated imbecile. Zimbabwe is for all of us n not tribal trivia u are spewing from ur deranged mentality. Respect other tribes as u also want to be respected. God created human beings equal n as such there are no super-human beings.

SANDILE NARE - 21 July 2015

Diibulaanyika you are wrong to suggest that all government workers are Shona. Can you prove that. Besides, there has never been a law or policy favouring the Shonas against other tribes. Recruitment has always been fair as far as I am concerned. Lets not say things without proof. You talk about hotels which are private entities as also dominated by Shonas. Oh, please, focus on the subject under discussion and stop exposing yourself as a short sighted, insecure malicious person.

Mr C - 23 July 2015

lets focus on country building leave this old man who doesnt thnkof people who voted him

jacknizer - 25 July 2015

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