SW Radio Africa (London)

9 September 2013

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's New Cabinet Expected This Week

Photo: New Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe is expected to appoint his new cabinet sometime this week, according to a highly placed source.

The new cabinet is expected to be in place in time for the official opening of the eighth parliament by Mugabe next week Tuesday.

It has taken Mugabe more than a month to announce his new team, a sign that the ageing ZANU PF leader is grappling to balance his cabinet between loyalists and the young turks.

While the constitution is silent on when the President is supposed to announce his cabinet following a general election, the new charter is clear that Mugabe must be guided by considerations of regional and gender balance.

As a result of this, the cabinet is expected to have many new faces and the highest number of women the country has had since independence.

The source told us Mugabe and his team at Munhumutapa building have been consulting widely to accommodate MPs from almost all the country's provinces.

'This is the first time since independence that Mugabe is appointing a cabinet guided by a new constitution that stipulates he has to choose from almost all the provinces.

'Apart from Bulawayo metropolitan, ZANU PF has MPs from all the country's provinces, presenting a headache for Mugabe, who is known to consult widely before naming his cabinet,' our source added.

Harare based journalist, Itai Dzamara told SW Radio that the delay in appointing the cabinet points to the dilemma Mugabe is facing to come up with a team that will transform his and ZANU PF's international image.

'I think he's having a problem. There can't be any other explanation because even the state media has gone quiet after initially proclaiming that the cabinet would be announced soon,' Dzamara said.

Following ZANU PF's two thirds majority 'win', the delay is being seen as a sign things might not be moving in the right direction.

Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC-T's national deputy organising secretary, queried 'what was stalling cabinet' if ZANU PF's landslide victory was authentic.

'And so the drama continues. Now of all times when people want to make necessary plans and adjustments for their future, is this the good governance that is their everyday gospel. Zimbabwe's politics is a nightmare,' wrote Bhebhe on his Facebook page.

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