Only in Zimbabwe can we have a coup that is not a coup; a resignation that is not a resignation and a new cabinet that is full of the same old faces from the last 20+ years.
After the euphoria of seeing Robert Mugabe depart and all the positive comments in Mr Mnangagwa’s inaugural speech, it was disappointing to see his choice of cabinet members that would support him to the 2018 General Elections. In that statement, promises were made.
It was with hope, that we the constituents waited for our new Presidents’ list of candidates, and what a let down that was. There were no mixed feelings about our disappointment; it was just so. Below are some of the reasons for the public disappointment.
- The bulk of the candidates put forward have been in involved in successive Mugabe governments from the last 20 years. Many of these people have contributed to the current decrepit condition of our country. If they had no new ideas then, it is highly unlikely that they are having any new ideas now.
- A number of the chosen candidates have been linked to irregular and possibly corrupt financial activities and behaviours.
- The average age of the cabinet is about 65 years. In 2017, there is a need for vibrant and dynamic thinking to address the challenges our country faces. Zimbabwe must forget about “Look East” and “Look West” policies as the first solution for solving our problems. We need ministers who look firstly to Zimbabweans both local and the diaspora to help them come up with and execute new ideas. These geriatrics have never shown that kind of dynamism, and some behave like aid-junkies.
- In selecting Ministers, the President is guided by s104 of the Zimbabwe Constitution 2013. Built into this section is sub-s3 which states that the President can choose up to 5 non-parliamentarians to be ministers. Though this is something of a constraint, EDM could have chosen some very strong candidates from the global Zimbabwean population to run the five core ministries that would drive recovery. Instead, he recycled ministers who in the public psychic have been regular underperformers in the last 10 – 20 years.
The “new” Cabinet will only last until the next general election which is less than a year away. If EDM truly wanted to show he was breaking with the past, he should have gone all out in dumping ministers with familiar names and even more familiar failures and scandals in their history. He should have scouted and recruited the five key members to help him drive the vision of a new Zimbabwe.
Here at ThinkZim, we are not about just shooting down other peoples ideas of progress; we are also about proposing alternative solutions. In the table below we:
- show all the ministerial posts and their current occupants as at 02/12/2017;
- show how many ministers are approaching or over the age of retirement – the average age is approximately 65 years;
- show our vision of how the ministries could have been further consolidated to reduce ministerial headcount;
- identify the five ministries that require dynamic out-of-the-box-thinking if our country is to be a success;
- do not believe any of the current ministers are suitable to carry forward into our envisaged cabinet of 12;
- suggest projects that could be kicked off to help initiate the recovery of the country. These are big long-term projects that would not only bring development to the nation but also jobs and improved quality of life for our people.
Thank you for taking the time to read our thoughts on how we think our President could have handled the selection of his “new” cabinet. As usual, we do not profess to have all the answers, but we encourage discourse and dialogue. We also acknowledge that other unseen factors may have been in play at the time the cabinet was selected and this may have been the reason for the seemingly tragic choices made.
These papers are an open discussion and we welcome supporting or opposing views and opinions, as they help us to build better strategies. We are on Facebook and Twitter.