Robert Mugabe to swear in new Cabinet

2014-12-12 11:04

Harare – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe will swear in members of a new Cabinet, replacing ministers sacked earlier in the week for their allegiance to former vice-president Joice Mujuru.

Ten new ministers and deputies will be sworn in at Mugabe’s official State House residence in Harare today. The two new vice-presidents will be sworn in at the same time.

According to a list of appointments leaked late yesterday, first vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, now widely seen as Mugabe’s preferred successor, will also continue to be justice minister, and second vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko will be in charge of national healing and reconciliation.

There is still no confirmation as to who will be the new minister for women’s affairs, giving way to some speculation on social media that it could be the president’s wife Grace Mugabe, just elected head of his ruling party’s women’s league.

However, Victoria Chitepo, widow of independence war icon Herbert Chitepo, could be appointed instead.

Her name appears on a list of Zanu-PF officials told to report to State House by the president’s secretary, Misheck Sibanda. Oppah Muchinguri, the former minister of women’s affairs, has been named the new minister of higher education.

Ex-chairperson of the party, Simon Khaya Moyo, whose post was abolished by Mugabe this week, will now be minister of economic planning, a portfolio first introduced to accommodate an opposition official during the 2009-2013 coalition government but not included in the previous Cabinet.

A new ministry of welfare services for veterans of the 1970s independence war has also been introduced.

News of the appointments was greeted with mixed reaction early today. Twitter user @StirohAfrika said: “Supa Mandiwanzira deserves the promotion. He is a hard worker.”

Mandiwanzira, a former journalist, has been named minister of information communication technology.

But user @briank.flatface said: “The MPs appointed are a bunch of dead wood.”

Nine of the new appointees are MPs elected in 2013.

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