In a move that was widely expected of him, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has announced the new cabinet ministers of his government who replace those that he fired together with the former Vice President, Joice Mujuru.
Mr. Mugabe made the announcements on Thursday night in a week that has seen a lot of changes in the Zimbabwean political landscape. Following the ZANU PF’s sixth Congress which lasted a week up to last weekend, Mr Mugabe first announced the dismissal of his Vice President for more than ten years, citing corruption charges as well as an attempt to unseat him by Mujuru. Together with Mujuru, Mugabe also showed the door to eight ministers that he also accused of working with Mujuru, who has been in Mugabe’s cabinet since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980.
Hot on the heels of these dismissals, the President announced the appointment of two Vice Presidents, Emmerson Munangagwa who is widely tipped to take over from the nonagenarian leader one day as well as Phelekezela Mphoko as first and second Vice Presidents respectively. Immediately after his appointment, Munangagwa suffered an assassination scare as Mr Mugabe announced that someone had sprayed Cynide poison in Mr Munangagwa’s office but had only affected his secretary who had been hospitalized. In his announcement on Thursday evening, Mr Mugabe said that Emmerson Munangagwa would retain control of the Ministry of Justice while Mphoko would be responsible for national healing, peace and reconciliation.
After announcing the abolishing of the position of National Chairman of ZANU PF after the congress, Mr Mugabe announced on Thursday that the former incumbent of that position, Simon Khaya Moyo, would be responsible for the Economic Planning Ministry moving from being senior minister of state in the President’s office.
Oppah Muchinguri who made way for Dr Grace Mugabe, the President’s wife as Secretary for the Women’s League in the ZANU PF Politiburo was reassigned to the Higher Education Ministry, replacing fired Olivia Muchena. Another dismissed minister, Dzikamai Mavhaire, who headed the Energy Ministry, saw Samuel Undenge, the former Deputy Minister of Finance, taking over his previous portfolio.
Francis Nhema and Nicholas Goche have been replaced by Chris Mushowe and Prisca Mupfumira as heads of the Youth and Indigenisation and Labour and Social Services Ministries respectively. The reshuffle also saw former public broadcaster, Supa Mandiwanzira replace his former boss, Webster Shamhu as the new Minster of Information Communication Technology. Chris Mutsvangwa is said to be taking over the Ministry of welfare services for war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees. He is the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.