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New Cabinet Reshuffle far from meeting people's expectations
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
February 11, 2004

We wish to register our disappointment at the new Cabinet reshuffle by President Robert Mugabe. We are perturbed that the new cabinet reshuffle does not show any commitment on the part of government to resolve the ever-deepening economic and political crisis in the country.

Apart from the recycling of Ministers, especially in such crucial ministries like Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Health and Higher Education, there is total disregard of peoplesí concerns which were captured by the Constitutional Commission appointed by President Mugabe in 1998.Zimbabweans have said they do not want a huge cabinet as this puts a strain on the national coffers.

When they were giving evidence to the Constitutional Commission, the people said there is no need for deputy Ministers but to our utter disgust the deputy ministers have been brought in again and furthermore Governors for Harare and Bulawayo have been appointed.

We as Crisis Coalition maintain that Zimbabwe is not supposed to have a cabinet as huge as 24 ministers, 10 governors and nine deputy ministers. What we fear is that ministers, their deputies and provincial governors perform the same functions. This duplication of functions is also between the provincial governors and the provincial administrators. It makes little sense, if any that there can be a Minister of Agriculture and another one for Lands and Land Reform. The same can be said of Ministries of Education, Higher Education and Science and Technology, which could have been collapsed into one ministry.

Although the appointment of the Cabinet is the Presidentís prerogative, we are of the view that appointments to public office must be reflective of the peopleís aspirations. Instead of expediting the process of the appointment of an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission, the President appoints a Minister who is answerable to him. We need an independent anti-corruption watchdog that is not answerable to the President but to Parliament.

Crisis in Zimbabwe is a grouping of civil society organisations and coalitions whose vision is a democratic Zimbabwe.

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