New Cabinet must help 'restore legacy'

HARARE - Former president Robert Mugabe was notorious for stuffing his Cabinet with poor performers.

The ultimate for him was to reward his cronies for their loyalty and ensuring fair representation across regions, while also serving as a retirement home for his bosom buddies.

With his fall last November, many expected his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa to depart from this unworkable, patronage system that has brought the country down to its knees by selecting his Cabinet based on merit.

His first Cabinet was a disaster. It was not different from what Mugabe had before: A Cabinet of deadwood, spent forces and other Zanu PF biggies whose names had become synonymous with corruption.

It was a missed opportunity for Mnangagwa who had the world eating from his palm upon assuming office with promises for a better Zimbabwe.

Being a listening president — as he would want us to believe — we can only hope that Mnangagwa learnt from his mistakes and that the new Cabinet to be unveiled soon would get the nation to forget about the blemishes that tainted what had otherwise been a peaceful election.

For a country whose gross domestic product is less than $20 billion, the least the country would require is a monstrous Cabinet that depletes the national purse, without adding any value to the generality of its people who have hold out hope for a better Zimbabwe for nearly 40 years. Unlike Mugabe who cared less about driving the country’s economy into the ground as long as he surrounded himself with cronies, Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra requires real servants of the people who are not only competent but committed to making a difference.

The ideals that motivated many of our fallen heroes to take up arms and pay the ultimate price had nothing to do with the self-aggrandisement of an elite few, who have become the flip side of what Ian Smith’s minority white regime was like. At the heart of their sacrifices was the desire not just to free their fellow countrymen from colonial bondage, but to set them on a sustainable path to prosperity.

If the whole objective behind Mugabe’s removal was to redirect the country back on this path, then the choices that Mnangagwa is going to make in his Cabinet will either depreciate or appreciate the motive behind Operation Restore Legacy.

If Zimbabweans do not get a lean Cabinet that draws the best brains available, never mind their political affiliation if we are to bring about inclusivity and a fair gender representation, then Zimbabweans could be in for another bumpy ride.

Comments (2)

Those who win elections must be allowed to put their ideas into action. Good input from the public should be considered. But remeber those who rule have a large amount of time and human resources to analyse all inputs more importantly from their vision. Is it realistic for the president to have his cronies (whatever that means to others) put him in power and then ignore them. That is not politics. He balances politics with business. Anywhere that's how it works.

senior - 30 August 2018

ED's cabinet is not going to be any different from the previous ones, it is the same zanupf party policy to look after its career members. His trajectory is already is predictable, his first move after inauguration was to thank the chiefs (by giving them vehicles) for forcing their subjects to vote zanupf. Then he has appointed his 2 known deputies Chiwenga and Mohadi. Then he is going to China (look East Policy) where the rest of his cabinet is going to be finalised. In that cabinet he cannot leave out the old guard otherwise they will impeach him. He also cannot afford to leave out the warvets especially the most vocal ones like Matemadanda, Mutsvangwa and Mahiya. Chiwenga will also make sure the generals number in cabinet is increased siginificantly from the current 2. Khupe needs to be recognised for splitting the MDC votes as well as gender balance purposes. He is going to increase the number of technocrats to give a picture of new cabinet. Thus his cabinet will have not less than 40 ministers and their deputies.

Sinyo - 31 August 2018

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