By Simplicius Chirinda
Harare, September 10, 2013 – President Robert Mugabe has announced the
country’s new cabinet with Jonathan Moyo’s return to the ministry of
information as the biggest talking point.
Moyo famous for introducing tough media regulatory measures more than
a decade ago has bounced back to his beloved ministry.
The move is likely to be seen as a reward to Moyo, who prior to the
elections acted as a pseudo ZANU PF and President Robert Mugabe’s
spokesperson even though the party had Rugare Gumbo in charge of the
Moyo would be deputised by the biggest beneficiary of the new cabinet,
journalist and black empowerment lobbyist Supa Mandiwanzira. The Zi FM
boss’ appointment comes as a surprise in the cabinet that appears to
be largely a mixture of the new and the old.
Mugabe also returned his old lieutenants some of whom had been
discarded in previous government appointments.
Ignatius Chombo, currently subject to a corruption investigation by
the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission has been returned to the
Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.
His return is probably a reward for his role in the July 31 election
campaign where he ordered all local municipalities to cancel all
outstanding debts for residents.
Simon Khaya Moyo, the former Ambassador to South Africa will enjoy a
new lease of life as Senior Minister of State.
Andrew Langa is now the minister of the branched out Ministry of
Sports and Culture while Oppah Muchinguri becomes the Minister of
David Parirenyatwa returns as Minister of Health and Child Welfare and
Walter Mzembi gets the recognition for his efforts in bringing the
UNWTO summit to Zimbabwe and has returned as Minister of Tourism.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who reportedly harbours ambitions to succeed
Mugabe when he retires appeared to have been one of the biggest losers
after being moved from the powerful portfolio of the Ministry of
Defence to his former portfolio of Justice and Legal Affairs. However,
Mnangagwa denies leading any faction in Zanu PF while Vice President
Joice Mujuru also denies the same charges of harbouring ambitions of
taking over the mantle from Mugabe.
Lazarus Dokora becomes the Minister of the stand alone Ministry of
Primary and Secondary Education. Mugabe’s long time ally Sydney
Sekeramayi now becomes the Minister of Defence. Former Mines Minister
and Mugabe’s self-proclaimed “ever obedient son” Obert Mpofu is now
the Minister of Transport.
Meanwhile, Zimbabweans gave a vote of no confidence in President
Robert Mugabe’s new cabinet announced Tuesday. In comments posted on
the social networking site, Facebook, several Zimbabweans criticized
Mugabe for recycling dead wood.
“The ‘new cabinet’ shows the quandary Mugabe was in. After recycling
the same old chuff for 33 years you end up going round and nowhere,”
reads parts of a comment posted by Maxwell Saungweme, an economist and
Journalists denounced the appointment of Moyo as the Minister of
Media, Information and Publicity and warned of tough times ahead for
the media industry which saw the closure of several newspapers and
radio stations during his tenure.
“The vindictive….we are in trouble,” said online media
expert John Mokwetsi while veteran journalist Rashweat Mukundu
encouraged media practitioners to roll their “sleeves and fight” for
the defence of their industry.