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Mugabe cleans up his cabinet

President Robert Mugabe cleaned up his cabinet, a month before the formation of the inclusive government, both to save himself from the embarrassment of dismissing them later and to put pressure on the Movement for Democratic Change to make up their mind by showing that he could go it alone.

He dismissed nine ministers and three deputy ministers who lost their seats in parliament in the March 2008 elections.

Those dismissed were:

  • Chen Chimutengwende, Minister of Public and Interactive Affairs;
  • Rugare Gumbo, Minister of Agriculture;
  • Amos Midzi, Minister of Mines and Mining Development;
  • Oppah Muchinguri, Minister of Gender, Women’s Affairs and Community Development;
  • Samuel Mumbengegwi, Minister of Finance;
  • Munacho Mutezo, Minister of Water Resources and Development;
  • Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Minister of Information and Publicity;
  • Michael Nyambuya, Minister of Energy and Power Development;
  • David Chapfika, deputy Minister of Agriculture;
  • Edwin Muguti, deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare; and
  • Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, deputy Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE19, MUGABE SHUFFLES MINISTERS AS HE AWAITS MDC DECISION

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09HARARE19

2009-01-07 15:52

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1484

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0019/01 0071552

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 071552Z JAN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3895

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2533

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2655

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1148

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1924

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2279

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2704

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5132

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1811

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000019

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/07/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE SHUFFLES MINISTERS AS HE AWAITS MDC DECISION

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires a.i., Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4

(d).

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (U) In early January, President Robert Mugabe dismissed

12 ministers and deputy ministers, and shifted their

portfolios to other senior ZANU-PF officials. The dismissals

were in keeping with constitutional requirements that

stipulate that all ministers and deputies need to be sitting

members of Parliament. The decision not to fill these seats

with new ZANU-PF parliamentarians likely reflects Mugabe’s

continued desire to bring the MDC into government. END

SUMMARY.

 

2. (U) During the first week of January, President Mugabe

issued letters of dismissal to nine ministers and three

deputy ministers who lost their seats in Parliament in the

March 2008 elections. The dismissals came as a result of a

standing constitutional requirement that stipulates that

ministerial appointments be filled from sitting members of

one of the two chambers of Parliament, the House of Assembly

and the Senate. The dismissals consisted of Chen

Chimutengwende, minister of Public and Interactive Affairs;

Rugare Gumbo, minister of Agriculture; Amos Midzi, minister

of Mines and Mining Development; Oppah Muchinguri, minister

of Gender, Women’s Affairs and Community Development; Samuel

Mumbengegwi, minister of Finance; Munacho Mutezo, minister of

Water Resources and Development; Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, minister

of Information and Publicity; and Michael Nyambuya, minister

of Energy and Power Development. The dismissed deputy

ministers consisted of David Chapfika, deputy minister of

Agriculture; Edwin Muguti, deputy minister of Health and

Child Welfare; and Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, deputy minister of

Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

 

3. (U) On January 6, Mugabe appointed eight interim

ministers to temporarily serve as acting heads. These

appointments consisted of Aeneas Chigwedere, who previously

served as minister of Education, Sport and Culture and is

continuing on as the acting minister; Patrick Chinamasa,

currently minister of Justice and now also the acting

minister of Finance; Joseph Made, currently minister of

Agriculture Mechanization and now also the acting minister of

Water Resources and Infrastructural Development; Munyaradzi

Paul Mangwana, currently minister of Indigenization and

Empowerment and now also the acting minister of Information

and Publicity; Christopher Mushohwe, previously the minister

of Transport and Communications and continuing on as the

acting minister; Sylvester Nguni, currently minister of

Economic Development and now also the acting minister of

Agriculture; Sithembiso Nyoni, currently minister of Small to

Medium Enterprises Development and now also the acting

minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community

Development; and Sydney Sekeremayi, currently minister of

Defense and now also the acting minister of Mines and Mining

Development.

 

4. (U) Chigwedere, Chinamasa, Made, and Mushohwe all lost

their parliamentary seats, but are eligible for ministerial

posts by virtue of having been appointed non-constituency

senators.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) The dismissals do not reflect divisions or problems

 

HARARE 00000019 002 OF 002

 

 

within ZANU-PF. Six of the eight appointed acting ministers

are assuming the duties of a second ministry. We interpret

this to mean that by choosing not to fill those seats with

other ZANU-PF MPs, Mugabe is leaving himself flexibility to

negotiate with the MDC and managing the risk of having to

dismiss ZANU-PF ministers to accommodate future MDC

appointments. He could also fill these positions at a later

time with other ZANU-PF parliamentarians should he move

forward with recent threats to form a government without the

MDC in February.   END COMMENT.

 

DHANANI

 

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