|10. October 2017
Mugabe in Shock Cabinet Reshuffle, Creates Cyber Ministry
President Robert Mugabe has shifted members of his Cabinet around, mostly taking powerful ministries from those allegedly supporting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and giving those posts - and new ones - to those apparently backing his wife, Grace Mugabe and her supporters in the G40 faction. The ruling Zanu PF party is divided over who should succeed Mugabe when he dies.
Zanu PF opponents have scorned President Robert Mugabe's cabinet reshuffle Monday which saw the shock demotion of Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to cyber security ministry leaving the treasury in the hands of the veteran leader's corruption accused aide, Ignatius Chombo.
Political analysts, likewise proffered different opinions about a cabinet adjustment which smacked of an elaborate attempt by the wily Mugabe to further weaken his ambitious deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Other key changes to the executive saw the widely expected ouster of War Veterans Minister and Mnangagwa ally, Tshinga Dube and the reassignment of Obert Mpofu to Home Affairs.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi was elevated to foreign affairs while CIO boss Happyton Bonyongwe was a surprise appointee into cabinet, taking over the justice ministry from Mnangagwa.
Reacting to the changes, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the reshuffle was a big yawn, adding that it has reduced Chinamasa to trivial job of being the country's chief WhatsApp group administrator.
"This is very big yawn, indeed a massive exercise in futility," Gutu said, adding that President Mugabe had "totally and completely lost the plot". "Actually, he should have reshuffled himself by immediately announcing his retirement.
"What kind of Ministry has been created for Patrick Chinamasa? What type of nonsense is that? "Chinamasa is now effectively on the same level as a WhatsApp group administrator. This is a very big joke that isn't funny.
"The most effective reshuffle will come after next year's elections when the entire Zanu PF dictatorship, warts and all, will be booted out of power."
Zapu's Noku Mjobisa said the reshuffle was the repositioning of deadwood and an act of rewarding thugs. "That's deadwood to fossil cabinet," he quipped. "It will not take us any way. The teetotaller (Mugabe) must reform himself. He has totally failed to convince the now restless population.
"Zimbabwe needs a new narrative; a new dispensation not the rewarding of mafia thugs for loyalty.
PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume also dismissed the reshuffle. "It is stunning in its emptiness and lack of a 'wow' factor," he said. "The President has brought Chombo into finance; who has never made a success of any ministry he has been. "There is a randomness and lack of clear thinking in his appointments that one can appoint a minister as old as Chinamasa to monitor Facebook, twitter is to make him a laughing stock of the nation."
(New Zimbabwe, Birmingham)