These ministries are presently held by Didymus Mutasa, Jameson Timba, Sylvester Nguni and Flora Bhuka respectively.
Sekai Holland is another Minister of State.
Critics claim these ministries were created as “jobs for the boys” to accommodate people who would not ordinarily have made it as ministers.
But a government official, who requested anonymity, said only the Ministers of State in the President and Prime Minister’s Offices were of any value, with the rest being ceremonial.
“The two ministers serve as a link between the president and prime minister on one hand and the ministers on the other, so they are important,” he said.
He said it was a global best practice that the president and the prime minister have ministers in their offices, but decried the way the situation was handled in Zimbabwe.
“I think South African President, Jacob Zuma, has two such ministers, you can even take the British example, but what happens here is something else,” he said.
The official described most ministers of state as being personal assistants to the vice-presidents and nothing more.
“They are not full ministers, effectively they have the position of deputy ministers,” he said. “In a proper situation those posts should be run by bureaucrats, rather than people termed as ministers.
Timba said he would not comment on the functions of the other ministers, but said his office coordinated policy between the prime minister and the other ministries.
“I work on the formulation of policy, coordination and supervision between the prime minister and the other ministries,” he said.
A political analyst, Dumisani Nkomo was scathing in his analysis, saying he felt those ministries did not add any value.
“I think those ministries are for political purposes, for the three parties to include their people in ministerial position,” he said. “They do not add value.”
Another analyst, Effie Ncube who heads a consortium of NGOs in Bulawayo said he was not aware of the roles served by the ministries and as far as he was concerned they could be scrapped. “I do not know their role because it has not been properly advertised, maybe there is something important they do, but we have just not been told,” he said.
Ncube said since the ministers of state received perks like others, this had the effect of draining the little resources the state had.
“It’s not just those ministries, but they are many, this is excessive on the fiscus,” he continued.
At the formation of the inclusive government, it was agreed that there would be 31 ministries, however, as a political balancing act, more were added and the number ballooned to more than 40.