By Staff Reporter
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recently sworn-in cabinet falls short of meeting Zimbabweans’ expectations, opposition party United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) has said.
In a statement, UZA described the appointment of Mnangagwa’s son David and nephew Tongai as deputy ministers as a “brazen display of nepotism”.
“President Mnangagwa’s new cabinet fails to meet the expectations of many Zimbabweans who are suffering from a collapsing economy and a moribund local currency. Prices of basic commodities have been on an upward trend, pushing many Zimbabweans, especially the underprivileged into abject poverty.
“Instead, the newly appointed cabinet falls short in a number of respects, the following in particular: The President’s brazen display of nepotism by appointing his son David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, as the Deputy Finance Minister and his nephew Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa as Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality is synonymous with dynastic succession and should never be condoned in a democratic Zimbabwe,” the statement reads.
The opposition party said instead President Mnangagwa’s cabinet is essentially a reshuffling of the same team that spearheaded the current economic meltdown.
“This will not move the nation forward. To achieve international standards, the President’s cabinet should be a platform that taps into the experiences of its appointed ministers. Experience, however, does not refer to the number of years one has spent in the cabinet or to age.
“President Mnangagwa missed an opportunity to refocus government towards sustainable development. Appointing new qualified minds would bring new solutions to the myriad of challenges Zimbabwe is facing. Where are the youth in President Mnangagwa’s cabinet? The old generation should allow Zimbabwe’s young people to chart the way forward for future generations,” the opposition party added.
The Elisabeth Valerio led party further noted that over one-third of President Mnangagwa’s cabinet ministers are over 60 years old and most of them have been in cabinet for the better part of their political lives.
“While UZA respects the cadres who sacrificed their lives for an independent Zimbabwe, we do not believe that 43 years after independence the country should remain in war mode. It’s time for new blood,” read the statement before adding, “Appointing 26 cabinet ministers and 10 provincial ministers in a country already burdened with economic malaise proves that either President Mnangagwa is out of touch with reality or has no regard for the voice of the people. UZA would have expected President Mnangagwa to trim the size of his cabinet. UZA favours a lean cabinet of under 15 ministers, which should include qualified and experienced individuals leading the various portfolios.”