Below is how he reshapes the cabinet which has failed to deliver on its own action plans.
Prof Arthur Mutambara
Minister of Science and Techonology
Because he is no longer deputy Prime Minister after being recalled by the smaller faction of the MDC-N, Mutambara is the new Minister of Science and Technology. Only a few can question the robotics professor’s skills in this field and his visionary leadership and unparalleled scientific knowledge should propel Zimbabwe to be one of Africa’s most scientifically advanced countries.
Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development
It may come as a surprise to many but Harare Mayor Masunda is taking over from Ignatius Chombo at the ministry. Masunda’s credentials as a lawyer, arbitrator are well known and we hope the experience he gained as mayor during the past two years gave him an invaluable insight into inner workings of urban councils. As someone who experienced firsthand the frustrations of working with an overbearing minister, Masunda should be able to devise a better working relationship with rural and urban councils.
Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development:
Priscilla Misiharabwi-Mushonga takes over from Olivia Muchena who has not been outstanding in this role. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is a well known activist who could push the agenda of women to another level. She is also outspoken, a character trait that is admired by many women suffering in silence.
Ministry of Finance
Biti’s wise stewardship of the economy has earned him another term of office. He has a lot on his plate and it would be foolhardy to remove him. He should however strive to be less confrontational as Minister of Finance.
Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture
Despite a brush with war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba, Coltart’s gets another term of office. Coltart still needs more time at the ministry which is in the process of distribution millions of textbooks to schools. Zimsec remains in disarray and Coltart’s skills are needed if the mess at the exams body is to be sorted.
Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement
Herbert Murerwa is being replaced by Rukuni at the ministry which has been expanded to take over the roles of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. Minister Joseph Made who was in charge of the ministry has left so he can effectively manage President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo diary estates. Rukuni, a world-renowned agricultural economist, has the right skills needed to resuscitate the ministry.
Minister of Health and Child Welfare
Madzorera retains his portfolio but will need to raise his profile to match that of his predecessor. He inherited the position from David Parirenyatwa who left a mark in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Madzorera should strive to do better.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Forget about former US Ambassador Dell’s comments about Ncube being a divisive character. Ncube is a genius when it comes to engaging diplomats. At the height of the divisions rocking the MDC over participation in the senate, Ncube exhibited his skill while arguing his case for a split with Morgan Tsvangirai. Ncube is unlike former Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge who spoke to diplomats like he was speaking to his children. Ncube’s eloquence and grasp of the laws of the country makes him a good Ambassador for us all. As for our relations with SA, these may assume a deeper and personal meaning, what with Ncube conversing with his in-law President Jacob Zuma.
Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Madhuku replaces Eric Matinenga who has been almost invisible at the ministry. Madhuku’s fight for a new democratic constitution needs no explanation and his presence at the ministry could boost all those wanting a new supreme law of the land. Madhuku’s wise counsel on constitutional matters could also greatly benefit the cabinet.
Minister of Media, Information and Publicity
Former DJ, Webster Shamu, who has been silent when journalists were harassed during the past year, has been replaced by Chamisa. Chamisa’s star appears to be on the rise and is one of the two MDC-T politicians identified by former US Ambassador as brilliant leaders. Over the years as the MDC-T information point man, Chamisa has gained deep understanding of the problems the industry faces and is better placed to push for the freedom of the press.
Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation:
The leader of Mavambo/Kusile/Makoni may have been a big disappointment politically but is best suited to this position. Makoni, a former Finance minister knows the region well after serving as executive secretary for Sadc and should excel in this role.
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education:
It’s time to retire Isaac Stanley Gorerazvo Mudenge, whose penchant for verbosity is legendary.
Nyathi is expected to bring sanity to schools and institutions of higher learning. The historian and cultural activist will use his experience in shaping curricula in schools that is devoid of partisan politics.
Minister of Home Affairs:
Dumiso Dabengwa is the man to take over home Affairs. It will be a second bite at the cherry for the veteran politician who has friends in all the political parties: Zanu PF, the MDCs, Mavambo and in Zapu. Dabengwa is expected to bring sanity to a ministry that has had to content with two ministers of diverse political views. One of the ministers Theresa Makone raised eyebrows when she stood for the rights of Didymus Mutasa’s son held at Matapi. She however turned a blind eye when Standard journalist Nqobani Ndlovu spent nine days in custody for practicising his profession.
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
The way Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has handled the Mutumwa Mawere saga leaves a lot to be desired. Besides that case, Chinamasa has discredited himself by championing laws, too many to be mentioned, that have nothing to do with bringing justice to the Zimbabwean masses. Senator Gutu, his deputy is the sober person at the ministry and is therefore promoted. We hope Gutu’s years of experience as a lawyer will guide him in the very important task of ensuring that Zimbabwe is a country that follows its laws to the letter. He will also be tasked with ensuring that Zimbabwe works towards achieving transitional justice for victims of political violence.
Minister of Youth, Small-to-Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development
The new ministry is an amalgamation of the old Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment ministry headed by Savious Kasukuwere and the one headed by Sithembiso Nyoni.
Important to note is the new ministry no longer carries the Indigenisation and Empowerment mandate. Indigenisation and empowerment are toxious subjects that not only alarm investors but breed lawlessness at a time when Zimbabwe desperately needs to revive the economy.
Mzembi should find it easy to connect with the youths.
Minister of Defence
Mnangagwa, a veteran of the liberation struggle, retains his post for now, mainly because it would be unwise to unsettle our unrepentant service chiefs who think in terms of “straight jackets”. He however escapes with a strong last warning to keep his mouth shut. Everybody knows Mnangagwa’s political affiliation but making alarming statements about elections is not part of his job.
Minister of Labour and Social Services
Chibebe replaces Paurina Mpariwa who has been more or less invisible as a minister of such a crucial ministry. If you look at the chaos at NSSA, you realise that the parent ministry of such an institution requires a strong person to sort the mess there. Chibebe has strong credentials in the fight for workers rights and there is no doubt that he can push the workers agenda with renewed zeal.
Minister of Environmental and Natural Resources Management
The Chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) replaces Francis Nhema in this important ministry. Rodrigues who is a well known conservationist who has worked tirelessly to save wild animals that have fallen victim to the lawlessness that has occurred in Zimbabwe. ZCTF was formed in April 2001 by a group of Zimbabweans, desperately concerned about the unacceptable levels of poaching as well as the destruction of the environment due to the break down of law and order in Zimbabwe.
Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry
With vast experience in the industry, Munyeza could be the answer that the ailing ministry needs to turn around its fortunes. We have seen unimaginative ways of reviving our tourism industry like bringing in Mai Azuka from Nigeria to promote tourism but the coming in of Munyeza could shake up things at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority which has become a major embarrassment.
Minister of Water Resources and Management
An unknown quantity politically, Makoni is a public health scientist who is passionate about water issues. He is the manager (research and implementation” at the Institute of Water Development. He replaces Samuel Sipepa Nkomo who is yet to make a mark on the ministry. Under Sipepa Nkomo’s watch, the quality of water in Harare has been deteriorating. The minister has also not shown any remarkable determination to solve the water crisis in Bulawayo. Nobody wants cholera to resurface again and we need somebody who knows what he is doing in this ministry.
Minister State for State Security in the President’s Office;
Sydney Sekeremayi is lucky to retain his job in the President’s Office. This is due to the fact that unlike Mnangagwa, he has largely kept a low profile and has not sought to publicly politicise his ministry. There may be no reason for now to ask him to pack his bags.
Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion
Mashakada retains his portfolio. We will however continue to assess his performance which will be up for review during the next reshuffle.
Minister of Public Service
Nzuwa, the chairman of the Public Service Commission is the new minister, taking over from Prof Eliphas Mukonoweshuro. While critics may point out Nzuwa was responsible for employing 10 000 Zanu PF youths, we want to believe he only acted on an instruction coming from the Youth Ministry headed by Saviour Kasukuwere. Nzuwa’s vast knowledge of the operations of the public service may be crucial in weeding out ghost workers and turning around the fortunes of public servants. It’s akin to setting a thief to catch a thief.
Johannes Tomana is a politician and is unsuitable as Attorney General. Moyo is taking over the hot seat with immediate effect.
The leading lawyer is charged with restoring public confidence in the AG’s Office. He is expected to rid the office of political appointees whose job is only to serve their masters. They do this by pursuing trumped-up charges against perceived Zanu PF opponents. It’s not an easy task for Moyo because prosecuting MDC activists has become the in-thing for Tomana’s protégés.