HARARE – Jockeying for Cabinet posts is turning nasty, with some of those eyeing positions in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration resorting to a vicious propaganda campaign to undermine other contenders for the appointments.
With Mnangagwa expected to announce his new Cabinet anytime following his inauguration last Sunday, the Daily News can report that the jostling for positions is getting uglier.
To get ahead of other aspirants, some have turned to social media by concocting and circulating images of Zanu PF politicians purportedly campaigning for MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in a bid to discredit them.
Reports also suggest that other Cabinet hopefuls are viciously lobbying Mnangagwa to overlook certain individuals on spurious grounds, including unproven claims that they did not campaign for him ahead of the July 30 polls.
Mnangagwa has since retained Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi as his deputies.
It is being hoped that he will appoint the rest of his Cabinet once the newly-elected members of Parliament have been sworn in.
Already, organisations affiliated to the ruling party are openly lobbying the president to pick some of his ministers from their membership.
These include the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), the Zanu PF youth league, and the party’s women’s league.
Mnangagwa has indicated his desire to appoint an effective Cabinet to turn around the country’s economy and usher in reforms in line with his “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.
Znlwva spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said it was unfortunate the some “uncouth” aspirants were resorting to dirty tactics to get Mnangagwa’s attention, saying they will not succeed in misleading the president.
“The president doesn’t like it,” he said.
“His principle is that you cannot canvass for a position because it is clear that those who do that want to abuses the positions.”
While advising Mnangagwa to make merited appointments, Mahiya said it was equally important for him to consider the former liberation war fighters as well because they are the custodians of Zanu PF’s revolutionary principles.
He said the fact that the majority of the war veterans do not have requisite qualifications to become ministers was inconsequential as ideology was more important than academic qualifications.
“Being an effective minister does not only call for academic and technocratic input, but political ideology of the party in line with the principles of the revolution.
“The pattern of doing things is more important than academic input,” he argued.
“Zanu and Zapu were governments in exile during the war and we borrowed principles of governance and later developed our own and it is those principles that (former president Robert) Mugabe failed to make use of and hence lost connection with the people.
“The interaction of the combatants and the people during the war makes them ideal candidates for positions of ministers because they know what the people want so we hope the new cabinet will take war veterans into perspective”.
Zanu PF women’s league chairperson for Harare province Ratidzo Mukarati said Mnangagwa was alive to the expectations of women, adding that the wing will support his decisions.
A Zanu PF insider told the Daily News yesterday that the desperation for Cabinet posts has reached fever pitch and it is not likely to recede until Mnangagwa unveils his line-up.
“For as long as a new Cabinet is not announced, it will be dog-eat-dog and we hope it won’t get to the extent of harming each other,” said the insider..
“But frankly, some of the efforts are desperate and useless.
“The appointing authority obviously has adequate intelligence on the background, conduct and behaviour of all candidates before and during the elections.
“They are intelligent enough to distinguish between fact and fiction.”