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recall of Moyo hints at hard line
Ray Ndlovu, Business Day
September 11, 2013
Mugabe announced a new
cabinet on Tuesday drawn from members of his Zanu-PF party,
with the leader making the surprise inclusion of a former minister,
Jonathan Moyo, who he fired from his government eight years ago.
said the new cabinet, which was reduced from 33 to 26, did not inspire
confidence and indicated a return to a hard-line political stance.
Mr Mugabe also appeared to want to appease foreign investors and
aid agencies by removing the hawkish Saviour Kasukuwere from the
indigenisation ministry and replacing him with the more moderate
Francis Nhema, son-in-law of the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo.
announcement put an end to weeks of speculation. He was sworn in
for a seventh consecutive term in office last month, but had remained
tight-lipped about the choice of his inner circle.
such as education and finance, have ground to a halt, waiting for
the appointments to be made.
for Democratic Change (MDC-T), which is crying
foul over the election results, indicated that it would not
participate in a cabinet led by Mr Mugabe, saying to do so would
only help to "sanitise" the new government.
said the biggest winner in the new cabinet was Mr Moyo, a key Zanu-PF
strategist in the election, who was appointed as information and
Mr Moyo was
fired from the same post in February 2005 by Mr Mugabe after he
was linked to a plot to block the ascendancy of Joyce Mujuru to
the post of vice-president, casting his support in favour of Emmerson
Mnangagwa at a Zanu-PF elective congress in 2004.
the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute Rashweat Mukundu said Mr Moyo’s
return appeared to indicate Mr Mugabe would adopt a hard-line stance
against his political opponents.
appointment is the most surprising of all appointments, judging
that Mr Mugabe earlier had said he would not include in government
any person who had lost their parliamentary seat," said Mr
Mr Moyo lost
his seat in Tsholotsho to the MDC-T’s Roselene Sipepa-Nkomo.
is that Mr Mugabe will appoint him in one of the five nonconstituency
seats he is entitled to fill in parliament under the new constitution.
Mr Moyo, now
a staunch defender of Zanu-PF, is credited with being the architect
of stringent media regulations in the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act in his first stint
as information minister.
he (Mr Mugabe) is in a fighting mode politically and the inclusion
of Mr Moyo, who thinks like him and can implement his policies with
dead accuracy, is evidence to that.
media has to roll up its sleeves, as we will see a return to the
2000-era crackdowns," said Mr Mukundu,
One of the main
architects of the new constitution, former justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa, was rewarded with the all-important finance ministry.
Mr Kasukuwere was shafted to the environment and water affairs ministry,
a decision most said was meant to pacify foreign investors.
a Mugabe loyalist, was retained as minister of foreign affairs.
whose ambitions to succeed Mr Mugabe are well known, was moved to
the justice ministry from the ministry of defence. That portfolio
was given to Sidney Sekeramayi. Mr Mnangagwa’s main rival
in the presidential succession race, Joyce Mujuru, retained the
ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, who was tipped to
become the second vice-president, was inexplicably appointed senior
minister without portfolio.
in the cabinet are Andrew Langa (education), Walter Mzembi (tourism),
David Parirenyatwa (health) and Kembo Mohadi (home affairs).
who was largely responsible for Zimbabwe’s chaotic and secretive
diamond mining project, was shunted to the transport ministry and
was replaced by the politically unknown Walter Chidakwa.
Oppah Muchinguri was appointed the minister for gender.
minister Webster Shamu was demoted to the ministry of information
technology, postal and courier services. Olivia Muchena retained
the higher education portfolio.
not a reform-oriented cabinet. Mr Mugabe had to stick with people
that think like him," said political analyst Dumisani Nkomo
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