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Mnangagwa’s cabinet: The good, the bad and the ugly

And can some of the teams work together? Remember in 2015, when Mugabe read the wrong speech in Parliament? Who can forget the comically verbose exchange that ensued between George Charamba and now Information Minister Chris Mutsvangwa, who blamed Charamba for the debacle.

Charamba, wrote Mutsvangwa on whatsapp, was a “presidential sinecure of a state created by others”.

“Get back your youthfulness you super war veteran, the Rambo who won the war single handedly,” Charamba retorted. “We will pluck those feathery horns if you take matters too far.”

It won’t be long before egos clash and feathers fly over there.

There was no clarity on Indigenisation, a key issue for Mnangagwa if he is to follow through on his promise to attract investment. Will it be under Youth Affairs, headed by Sithembiso Nyoni, or taken up by Chinamasa or Industry Minister Mike Bimha?

On Thursday, Chinamasa said the indigenisation law would be “reviewed”. Mnangagwa has a chance to make a bold statement by bringing clarity to the issue.

 

THE UGLY

The appointment of military men only confirms what many knew but were refusing to accept; Zimbabwe is under military rule.

Air Force Commander Perrance Shiri is a farmer of note and was the head of the Command Agriculture technical team. So his appointment as Agriculture Minister is logical, but only in the dark context of the new reality of army control.

Major General Sibusiso Moyo, who became the face of the military operation that deposed Mugabe, is now Foreign Affairs Minister. It is a hard message that the new rulers are sending to the world.

 

THE CHANCE

Cabinet was going to be Mnangagwa’s first big test, and he has botched it up. He has wasted a good chance to endear himself to voters who were tired of Mugabe and the opposition options, and were willing to give him a chance. He could have pleased both his allies and Zimbabweans, but he went more with rewarding loyalty.

Still, all is not lost. The President still has a chance to redeem himself, if he can somehow find a way to whip his old-new Cabinet to, for once, do some real work and produce quick and visible results. He has very few chances left, and the window of opportunity is closing fast.

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