Key stakeholders laud new Cabinet
Nqobile tshili, [email protected]
KEY players in various sectors have lauded President Mnangagwa for blending the old and young in his new Cabinet expected to accelerate the implementation of various programmes and transformative projects under the Second Republic in line with Vision 2030.
The delicate balance between change and continuity, women and men and the country’s 10 provinces saw young people like Chikomba West Member of Parliament, Tatenda Mavetera, a former actress, being appointed into the new Cabinet while tested old hands were retained as the President lived to his word of hitting the ground running.
In separate interviews, various stakeholders said the reappointment of some ministers with a wealth of experience will help drive President Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming the country into an upper middle-income economy.
President Mnangagwa on Monday announced 25 Cabinet Ministers, 21 deputy ministers, most of them understudies from their seasoned seniors.
Professor Mthuli Ncube retained his post as the boss of the Treasury, after being appointed the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion, while Dr Anxious Masuka including his two deputies Vangelis Haritatos and Davis Marapira, retained their portfolio in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Water and Rural Development.
Professor Amon Murwira was retained in the Higher and Tertiary Innovation, Science and Technology Ministry together with Dr Frederick Shava who was reappointed Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister.
The President appointed Dr Jenfan Muswere as the new Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, taking over from Cde Monica Mutsvangwa who was moved to the Women Affairs, Community and Small to Medium Enterprise portfolio.
Information, Communication, Technology Postal and Courier Services Ministry was given to the youthful Cde Tatenda Mavetera.
Others who made it to the Cabinet include Cdes July Moyo, Winston Chitando, Soda Zhemu, Ziyambi Ziyambi, Kazembe Kazembe, Daniel Garwe, Felix Mhona, Mangaliso Ndlovu, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, and Kirsty Coventry.
Former Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo was elevated to full minister in charge of Energy and Power Development.
Dr Sithembiso Nyoni was appointed Industry and Commerce Minister while Prof Paul Mavima is now heading a new portfolio – Skills Audit and Development Ministry.
Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa was appointed Minister of War Veterans while Cde Lovemore Matuke was appointed Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Office of President and Cabinet.
Cde Barbra Rwodzi was appointed the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Economist, Dr Nqobizitha Dube, said the blend between the new and old shows that Government wants to consolidate the gains achieved in the last five years. He said retaining individuals in critical ministries such as Finance and Investment Promotion is good for institutional memory, giving impetus to investment confidence.
“It is always good to have a continuation of those who have institutional memory in critical ministries such as the Finance ministry. It is good for the projects that are already undertaken as we are now focused on consolidation,” he said.
“So we are consolidating what was already being implemented and we hope they are just improved. Another important aspect is the appointment of youthful deputies who should contribute to improved service delivery given that they are more accessible to the youth.”
Dr Dube said it was going to be costly for Government to simply change ministers, especially when it has some of them who had a record of doing well.
“There is a dangerous period when new things are being started. First, you will have to create skills and teach the new person the new process and that is called the transactional cost,” he said.
“So, if new persons had been appointed, it would have taken them probably a year or so to get them to understand before they actually start working hence by retaining performing individuals, you are reducing transactional cost,” he said.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) secretary general, Mr Paul Zakariya said there was no need for President Mnangagwa to change the winning team in the agricultural sector.
Dr Masuka’s team, including his deputies and permanent secretary Dr John Basera, led the revolution in the agriculture sector that saw the country achieving a surplus in wheat production while the country has been food-sufficient for three seasons.
Mr Zakariya said considering the performances of players in the agriculture sector it was prudent for the President to maintain the same team in pursuit of national food security.
“Maybe we can start from the performances of the Ministry of Agriculture and we even know that in the previous Cabinet, there was an evaluation that was carried out showing that the Minister and the permanent secretary and deputy ministers achieved the intended targets,” he said.
“They performed very well so there is a need for continuity in the sector.”
Mr Zakariya said predictability, collaboration and cooperation in various Government agencies are important for sustained growth in the agricultural sector.
Civil servants expressed hope following the appointment of Minister July Moyo in the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, saying he is a seasoned administrator, who can advance the interest of Government employees.
“We are excited with the appointment of the new Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare because he is a seasoned politician who has superintended over several Government ministries for years,” said Mr David Dzatsunga, secretary of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions (ZCPSU).
“We are just hoping he will have an impact to deliver social dialogue especially when it comes to the relationship between the ministry and we hope he will leverage his experience in engaging with the Ministry of Finance (and Investment Promotion) for the benefit of the workers.”
Mr Dzatsunga said the Skills Audit and Development headed by Professor Mavima should promote meritocracy not just within civil service, but in various subsectors of the economy.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said while they have not had any prior engagement with the new Education Minister Torerayi Moyo, they hope he will advance the interest of the sector.
“We hope that he will ensure that the curriculum is updated as well as ensuring that the Teacher Professions Council comes to pass and above all, the teacher-pupil ratio is attended to,” he said.
Minister Moyo was the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education in the last Parliament. —@nqotshili