Mnangagwa ‘is now his own man’

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new cabinet signifies his determination to “reset the government’s compass”, as he hopes to turn around the country’s deteriorating economy, an analyst has reportedly said.

According to Daily News, University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure believed that the president was now “his own man” and was not beholden to the military chiefs and Zanu-PF heavyweights who assisted him in gaining power last November.

The report quoted  Masunungure as saying that Mnangagwa was now “flexing his muscle” and also dispelling views that he was weak.

Masunungure said Mnangagwa had earned his legitimacy after the July disputed polls and was now asserting his authority.

“He is now his own man as he has earned his legitimacy. He is no longer beholden to those who launched the military intervention and those who supported him during the era when he was down,” Masunungure was quoted as saying.

Succession fights

The analyst said this after Mnangagwa announced sweeping changes to his cabinet after his election victory.

Mnangagwa made changes in the ministries of finance, defence and home affairs, but left untouched the key posts of foreign affairs and lands, held by retired army chiefs.

He fired several ministers who had become “permanent fixtures” in former president Robert Mugabe’s government.

Among those who were axed were his former cabinet ministers and allies at the height of the ruling Zanu-PF succession fights which came to an end after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces intervention last November.

The state-owned Herald newspaper said this week that several ministers who did not make the cut into the new cabinet were deployed to the ruling Zanu-PF headquarters on a full-time basis.

The decision

Zanu-PF’s secretary for information and publicity Simon Khaya Moyo was quoted as saying that the decision was taken after the ruling party’s extraordinary politburo session at the party headquarters.

At least 11 departments of the party were now expected to be managed by full-time employees who included ex-ministers.

Moyo said the party had deployed some of its former ministers who included Obert Mpofu, Patrick Chinamasa, Christopher Mushowe, Paul Mangwana, as well Simbabrashe Mumbengegwi at the ruling party’s headquarters.

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