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Cabinet reshuffle a circus
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
February 08, 2007

On Tuesday, 6 February 2007, President Robert Mugabe announced a ‘new cabinet’ that he has tamed a fusion of the new with the old ready to rescue that country from the deeply entrenched socio-economic and political crisis.

The announcement of a cabinet reshuffle should be analyzed in the context of the governance and legitimacy crisis that the leadership of President Mugabe has authored since he lost the hearts and souls of Zimbabweans after the Constitutional Referendum debacle of February 2000.

In the view of the Coalition, any organization or re-organization of the Zimbabwean society be it through the so-called Cabinet reshuffles, the chaotic land reform programmes or the creation of dubious bodies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission or the proposed but misguided Human Rights Commission will not assist the country to return to democratic legitimacy that will assist to resolve the economic and political malaise the country is grappling with.

What is needed is not a change of faces in the government but a change of the inherently iniquitous governance system practiced by the incumbent regime. It is therefore important that President Mugabe realize that what is required in Zimbabwe is a governance overhaul that encompasses constitutional reforms followed by free and fair elections in order to establish a democratic society that produces democratic institutions such the executive, judiciary and the legislature.

Such a scenario can not exist under an unlimited government presided by an oligarchy that is not accountable and answerable to the people of Zimbabwe but guided by corrupt practices. In any case, the reshuffle is a circus. Mugabe’s selection criteria of ministers raises suspicion as it has become obvious that it is purely political rather than based on the qualifications and experience of the individuals.

A good example is that of the former Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made, who in the past, predicted a bumper harvest on the basis of an aerial view of a crop field. Made has since been reassigned to lead a ministry responsible for agricultural engineering and mechanism. Moreover, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who holds a doctorate degree in Education has been appointed Minister of Information instead of being posted to the Education Ministry where he could be of use?

Mugabe’s reshuffle typifies a leader who has run out of ideas and has no clue on how to govern the country and get out of the crisis that he has manufactured. Zimbabweans expect the government to urgently address the deepening socio-economic and political crisis.

A comical cabinet presented to the nation by President Mugabe does not reflect seriousness of purpose and a government that has the political will to salvage the country from the current economic abyss. Zimbabwe needs a responsible, transparent, accountable and non-corrupt leadership that is prepared to steer the country towards economic growth.

Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition fact sheet

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