Zimbabwe’s New President has already begun stumbling politically

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA ––Zimbabwe’s newly appointed president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has already begun stumbling less than a week after taking office.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has already replaced two ministers, two days after announcing his new cabinet.

Opposition critics and members of the civil society say the President Mnangagwa’s initial and existing cabinet lineup shows that he had no plan of instituting any real change to the country despite hailing a “new democracy.”

Critics took serious exception to the appointments of two officials, the education and labor ministers.  With those concerns, the president quickly replaced the two appointees, to abide by a constitutional provision.

In President Mnangagwa’s government, the military chiefs have chosen to remain in charge of foreign affairs and land portfolios.

Last Saturday, the government said that two positions were being replaced to “ensure compliance with the constitution and considerations of gender, demography and special needs.”

Cabinet Ministers are sworn in at State House in Harare.  Newly appointed Cabinet ministers took their oath of office and will run the country until elections set for 2018

Critics say the initial list of appointees did not comply with a constitutional provision which limits the number of ministers who are not members of parliament.

Opposition supporters rejoiced about the removal of the education minister Lazarus Dokora, claiming that he was responsible for the regression in educational standards over the last few years. Paul Mavima, the deputy minister of education replaced him.

Petronella Kagonye was made labor and social welfare minister in place of Clever Nyathi, who assumes the duties of a special adviser to the president on national peace and reconciliation.

Trevor Ncube, Zimbabwe’s influential media commentator and entrepreneur quickly tweeted that the quick change meant the president was either “listening to the public” or “he rushed through this important task.”

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Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere

Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere is a public affairs researcher and senior investigative correspondent.
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