BULAWAYO – Zimbabweans in the City of Kings yesterday woke up to a shock new Cabinet announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The sentiments expressed in the streets here were that of clear disapproval, hence confidence in the prospects of recovery has been eroded.
This comes after people here had lately pinned their hopes in the new government following the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe.
Former Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace
Gwanda-based analyst Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo had no kind words for Mnangagwa’s new Cabinet appointments
“There are no surprises in Mnangagwa’s Cabinet,” Fuzwayo said.
“He is a perfect Zanu PF and Mugabe graduate and anyone would have produced a similar Cabinet.
“Matabeleland has always been known to be represented by Zanu PF or Mugabe praise singers and Mnangagwa has gone the same way.
“That is the best Zanu PF can pick from Matabeleland — people who sold out on their souls against Matabeleland just to enjoy these Cabinet posts,” Fuzwayo said.
However, poet and political activist Bhekumusa Moyo chose to differ.
“In this age and time, I believe as Zimbabwe we need to step out of the regionalism thing and look at Zimbabwe as a nation. Merit must come first than appeasing perceived theories around tribe or region. All in all, let’s implement devolution to stop the talk of regions,” he said.
He, however, singled out Sithembiso Nyoni, Obert Mpofu, Kembo Mohadi and Angeline Masuku from Matabeleland region as an act of recycling dead hood.
Women Arise of Zimbabwe director Jeni Williams said she was concerned that the president seems to be indicating left while turning right back into militarism.
“It was once said the presidency is a strait jacket, are we beginning to realise that the military dictates the shots and not Zanu PF party structures or the people of Zimbabwe?
“Sober assessment is necessary by civic society regional and international community so that desperately required economic recovery is delivered to Zimbabweans,” Williams said.
She added: “It is obviously the consolidation of war veteran power and along with that is the strengthening of patriarchal systems. At least 52 percent of the nation will be in disbelief. Women have to wake up and act fast.”
Zenzele Ndebele, a journalist and activist said there was nothing ‘‘new’’ on Mnangagwa’s new Cabinet.
“There is nothing new. This was always about Zanu PF succession. People cheered and celebrated while Zanu PF was repackaging itself.”
Veteran legal practitioner Brighton Ndove said there was nothing wrong with appointments made by Mnangagwa.
“From a legal standpoint I don’t see anything wrong with the appointments and the perceived exclusions of the opposition party elements,” Ndove said.
“Mnangagwa is simply completing his predecessor's term of office which is a Zanu PF issue. Ever since the 2013 elections there was never an inclusive Cabinet and the president's approach is quite consistent with his mandate to complete,” he said.
Ndove justified the inclusion of the military in the new Cabinet. “It would have been fool-hardy for one to expect the military guys to completely pull out and not supervise or monitor what they promised the citizenry.”