The cabinet reshuffle announced by President Robert Mugabe on Monday shows that Zimbabwe is heading for disaster both in terms of the economy and democracy ahead of the 2018 elections
Besides being bloated and duplication of Ministries, it is expecting too much from Ministers like Ignatius Chombo, (Minister of Finance and Economic Development) and Simbarashe Mumbengengwi, (Minister of Micro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion) to revive the economy as they have no clue on what to do. In any case, these two ministries should have been combined into one.
Zimbabweans should also expect more repression as the country heads for elections as seen by Mugabe’s appointment of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Director General, Happton Bonyongwe, to the Justice Ministry. Previously, aggrieved Zimbabweans used to resort to courts for justice and the ZCTU is worried that with Bonyongwe at the helm of the Justice Ministries, it is going to be hell.
To add to Zimbabwe’s woes, Mugabe has appointed Patrick Chinamasa as a Minister of Cyber Security, Threat detection and Mitigation. This sounds more like another spy Ministry and a waste of taxpayers’ money. In fact this ministry and the Ministry of Information Communication Technology should be departments under the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting.
The media, especially private media, is also in for hard times with the appointment of Simon Khaya-Moyo as the Minister of Media Information and Broadcasting. Khaya-Moyo was recently in the media threatening the private press against writing anything bad about Zanu PF and its leaders saying they would be punished. It seemed Mugabe has rewarded him for that. Indeed the future looks gloom for freedom of expression and democracy.
Why on earth do we need a whole Ministry of National Scholarships? To save taxpayers’ money, this Ministry could merely be a department in one of the education Ministries.
The labour movement is concerned and disappointed that President Mugabe continues to recycle the same people who have become career Ministers since 1980. They have nothing new to offer. In fact the so-called reshuffle is a farce by Mugabe to reward home boys, loyalists and also to give a faction aligned to his wife, Ministries that are endowed with resources ahead of elections. It is not a surprise that Patrick Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew is now in charge of the Ministry of Public Service and Labour and subsequently in charge of institutions like the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) that had become cash cows for the dethroned Labour Minister Prisca Mupfumira and her cronies. Another Mugabe home boy, Ignatious Chombo is now holding the purse at the Ministry of finance.
As for Mupfumira, the ZCTU will not shed a tear that she has been removed from her post. She was one of the worst Minister to grace the Ministry. She was arrogant and doing a disservice to workers of Zimbabwe.
We reiterate that the solution in the country is not about moving chairs, but the dismantling of the whole government and putting in place a neutral transitional authority to take the country forward.