Mnangagwa 'faces tough time' as Zimbabwe awaits new cabinet

Emmerson Mnangagwa (Picture: AP)
Emmerson Mnangagwa (Picture: AP)

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly under pressure to appoint his new cabinet after being sworn-in last weekend.

According to NewsDay, Mnangagwa was now racing against time, as reports suggested that government was virtually at a standstill.

The report said that Mnangagwa had met outgoing speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda to discuss the processes and procedures to take place, as the country awaited the appointment of cabinet ministers.

A Daily News report said that some ruling Zanu-PF officials were already scrambling for positions while Mnangagwa was under tremendous pressure to appoint a young, dynamic and small cabinet which could be capable of bringing a new lease of life to the country.

Necessary skills

"Intense, covert and overt lobbying" were reportedly under way as party officials were trying to gain the president’s favour, the report said.

The president was also facing a challenge, as he would have to desist from the previous "winner take all" mentality which has not helped in bridging the divide characterising the southern African country’s politics. 

Speaking to News24, Piers Pigou from the International Crisis Group said that Mnangagwa's new cabinet should be able to deliver on his "change promises".

Pigou said that the president needed technocrats who possessed the necessary skills to bring about change.

"He [Mnangagwa] needs technocrats - people who have the necessary skills. He would need people who can deliver. He did not mention the opposition in his inauguration speech, so I think he would not necessary pull people from that pool. He might, however, pull people from the other sectors, including civil society and from civil services," said Pigou.

Corruption

Mnangagwa himself in May indicated that he would wield the axe on under-performing ministers soon after the watershed polls.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the president said that he planned on reforming the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), and would not tolerate any form of corruption, as it was no longer "business as usually" in his administration.

"Mnangagwa has a very tough job of balancing his party and consolidating his power. But if we have the resurgence of the old guard then it may not be well received," said Pigou.

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