Zim cabinet reshuffle: Things to know

2017-10-08 11:57
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace stand at the monument of the Unknown Soldier in Harare. (AFP File)

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace stand at the monument of the Unknown Soldier in Harare. (AFP File)

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Harare - President Robert Mugabe has announced an imminent reshuffle to his cabinet, the first since 2015, and likely the last ahead of key elections next year.

Who’ll be reshuffled?

Here’s what Zimbabweans are saying:

Blow for Emmerson Mnangagwa & Co.?

President Mugabe got back from New York two weeks ago to declare that foreign currency and fuel shortages and rising prices were the work of traitors in the top ranks of his own ruling party.

The exact term he used was "Judas Iscariots".

This led many to speculate that he was referring to Vice President Mnangagwa, who was acting president while Mugabe was away.

Mnangagwa has angered the First Family by repeating a claim by his supporters that he was poisoned at a rally in August.

Mnangagwa himself has the justice portfolio. The current war veterans minister, Tshinga Dube is his close ally. Could they be in the firing line?

The return of Jonathan Moyo?

A key ministry to watch will be that of information.

It’s rumoured that former information minister Jonathan Moyo (an ally of Grace Mugabe) will get the post back after a long stint at the higher education ministry.

That would certainly strengthen the hand of the anti-Mnangagwa faction (the so-called G40) which has until now taken a major battering at the hands of state media.

The rise of Grace and friends

There’s speculation Grace Mugabe herself could get a cabinet post.

Grace’s faction is becoming increasingly outspoken against the party's old guard, led by Mnangagwa.

On Thursday evening, Grace Mugabe labelled Mnangagwa a mere appointee of her husband.

Wrote veteran journalist Brezh Malaba on Twitter: “Mrs Mugabe could be a Cabinet minister by this time next week. There’ll be an interesting line-up of deputy ministers as Bob rewards allies.”

Mugabe won’t reshuffle himself

President Mugabe is determined to stay in office until the end of a second term, when he’ll be 99.

His supporters want him to be life president. The president says those in the firing line are “non-performers”.

He suggested at a youth assembly of the ruling Zanuj-PF on Saturday that people given positions in the party and government had “not done well” and that “next week, there might be some changes in government”.

That’s thought to be a massive understatement. Noted media watchdog @ZimMediaReview: “Long week ahead for Mugabe’s ministers. He likes to keep people guessing.”

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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