PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday appointed a leaner 26-member Cabinet, down from the Inclusive Government's 33-member team, which was tailored to accommodate representatives of the three political parties that made up the coalition government.The incoming Cabinet is set to be sworn in at State House in Harare today.
The appointments, which were announced by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, who was flanked by Presidential spokesman Mr George Charamba at State House, came 40 days after the harmonised elections and 20 days after President Mugabe's inauguration.
The Cabinet was whittled down by collapsing and merging several ministries. Justice and Legal Affairs was merged with Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs to create the new ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs that is now headed by Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, with Cde Patrick Chinamasa landing the Finance portfolio which he superintended in an acting capacity when he introduced the multi-currency regime on January 29, 2009 ahead of the formation of the inclusive Government a fortnight later.
Water Resources was merged with Environment to create a new ministry of Environment, Water and Climate headed by Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.
Higher and Tertiary Education was merged with Science and Technology Development to create one portfolio headed by Dr Olivia Muchena, who is deputised by Cde Godfrey Gandawa.
The ministries of National Housing and Social Amenities, and Public Works were collapsed and merged with Local Government, Rural and Urban Development to create the new Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing headed by Dr Ignatius Chombo.
The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts, and Culture was split into two to create a Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture headed by Cde Andrew Langa who is deputised by Cde Tabeth Kanengoni; while the new Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, a throwback to the late 80s Cabinet, is headed by Dr Lazarus Dokora, who is deputised by Professor Paul Mavhima.
While the previous Cabinet had 11 women, including deputies, the incoming team comprises only three women as full ministers and four deputies.
Ministries of State Security, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, State Enterprise and Parastatals, Regional Integration and International Cooperation have been collapsed.
Eight ministers retained their portfolios, a reaffirmation of the President's faith in their capabilities.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi; Small to Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni; Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa; Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made; Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and the Minister of State in the Office of Vice President Mujuru's Office Sylvester Nguni retained their respective portfolios.
Minister Mzembi, fresh from the successful hosting of the 20th edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, could not hide his joy.
"Obviously I am happy for the reappointment to the ministry. It is a reaffirmation of the President's faith in the work that we are doing and the discharge of the mandate and interpretation of his dream for tourism and hospitality.
"The glory is not mine, it belongs to the people of Masvingo who have chosen me to continue representing them, in the process, making me available for deployment by the President.
"I would like to express gratitude to the sectoral stakeholders, the ministry, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the public and international community at large, who have contributed to my success as the minister."
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said his reappointment would ensure continuity in tackling outstanding issues.
"We look forward to reviving the plans of financing the farming sector. Farmers are ready to move forward but they are facing funding challenges," he said.
Minister Made hailed the appointment of two deputy ministers in the ministry, saying this would go a long way in restoring Zimbabwe's bread basket status.
"I now have two deputies, one responsible for livestock and the other for crop and mechanisation. I think this is a well-directed effort to tackle the multifaceted nature of the portfolio in coming with the desired results."
Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo returns to the portfolio he held when he was last in Government in 2005.
Said Prof Moyo: "With this appointment you feel like hitting the ground running. I am coming to do any assignment given by my boss. I am coming in as Team Zanu-PF and Team Zanu-PF has a captain."
Asked whether he would institute any media reforms, Prof Moyo said: "You do not reform anything that is not deformed. I will have to wait for my assignment."
Cde Didymus Mutasa said President Mugabe retained him in Presidential Affairs Minister out of trust.
"I remained where I was. I did not grow up or grow down. I think the President trusts me the way I trust him too. We have come a long way together since 1963 and it is very difficult not to trust each other," he said.
Cde Mavhaire said his appointment was a reward by the President to the people of Masvingo after the province won all the 26 seats.
"The fact that we got 26 out of 26 seats is a good testimony to say we tried our best. It is the people of Masvingo who demonstrated and corrected their mistakes.
"I am happy His Excellency, the President recognised the effort we put and rewarded us," he said.
Cde Chombo said it was time to deliver services to the people across the country.
"This is a new situation, a new term in which we expect Zanu-PF to deliver because we have a very clear blue print. People expect services. We really have to start running."
The following were appointed Ministers of State in the Office of the President, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo (Senior Minister of State), Cde Flora Bhuka (Minister of State for Presidential Affairs) and Cde Josiah Hungwe (Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education).
Cde Sylvester Nguni remains Minister of State in Vice President Mujuru's Office.
President Mugabe also appointed Ministers of State for the 10 provinces namely Cdes Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo (Bulawayo), Miriam Chikukwa (Harare), Christopher Mushowe (Manicaland), Martin Dinha (Mashonaland Central), Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Mashonaland East), Faber Chidarikire (Mashonaland West), Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Masvingo), Cain Mathema (Matabeleland North), Abednigo Ncube (Matabeleland South) and Jason Machaya (Midlands).
Dr Sibanda said President Mugabe exercised his Constitutional right in appointing non Constituency members Professor Moyo, Dr Made, Cdes Chidarikire, Dinha and Dokora as ministers.