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Mnangagwa’s cabinet is illegitimate: Promise Mkwananzi

President Mnangagwa (R) and main opposition leader Mr Nelson Chamisa at loggerheads regards 2023 elections

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi has denounced the cabinet announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as illegitimate.

He said President Mnangagwa announced the cabinet “ignoring regional and international observer missions’ criticisms of the ZANU-PF regime’s conduct of the 23rd August 2023 elections, contempt by voters who have dismissed the election as a sham and his inauguration as illegitimate, and even doubts within his own party about his leadership, on Monday, Mr. Mnangagwa announced a new cabinet.

“This cabinet is illegitimate as it is a product of a disputed election. By going ahead with announcing the appointments, Mr. Mnangagwa has revealed what has come to be associated with his autocratic regime; a casual disregard of, and contempt for people’s voice. The cabinet, like the just-ended election, fails the credibility and legitimacy test,” Mkwananzi said.

The opposition spokesperson said since it is constituted of President Mnagagwa’s friends, family, loyalists, and the least qualified, the cabinet is the worst since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

He argued that it shows no interest in a positive legacy and no attempt to spur positive development and described it as yet another missed leadership opportunity for Mnangagwa.

Particularly worrying for Mkwananzi is President Mnagagwa’s appointment of his son and nephew as deputy ministers of finance and tourism, respectively.

“Equally disturbing is his retention, from the previous government, of several ministers who were rejected during his own party, ZANU PF`s primary elections, and in general elections.

“The reappointment of old and tired loyalists exacerbates concerns about the lack of commitment to fresh perspectives and innovative ideas within the regime. It is also concerning that to accommodate friends and family, Mr. Mnangagwa has expanded the cabinet from the previous 22 to 26 ministries or government departments. The bloated cabinet raises serious questions about the regime’s commitment to using the nation’s resources prudently.”

A commentator on microblogging site X, formerly Twitter, who uses the handle @Vahombe07, came up with a counter-narrative and said in the just-ended Harmonized Elections, there were 3 Chamisas in CCC, all imposed by Nelson.

“But CCC Noise Makers never said a word. Now, President ED Mnangagwa has appointed a young Finance Mogul, a Technocrat, Cde Kudakwashe Mnangagwa as the Deputy Minister of Finance, CCC Noise Makers are up in arms. This Unwarranted Selective Amnesia from CCC Noise Makers must end Forthwith. So, according to CCC Noise Makers, anyone who bears the surname Mnangagwa must not work under President ED Mnangagwa’s administration. Despite them being competent, and having the Merits and qualifications to occupy certain positions, they must wait for President ED Mnangagwa to leave office, so that they can start working & earn a living. Really!!! Is that Fair, is that Justice??”

On his part, Mr. Nelson Chamisa is pledging a lean cabinet of not more than 15 ministers and emphasized meritocracy and efficiency.

“As the leading, CCC is saying that Zimbabwe cannot afford this chaos. We need to take a firm stand against the chaos by continuing to peacefully resist in our various ways, and also by working in partnership with the civil society and regional and international actors, to restore sanity to our nation. It is only a legitimate government that can provide leadership and cabinet that our country needs.

“By installing a cabinet that is guaranteed to fail and rather than think of the national plight, Mr. Mnangagwa has set up an infrastructure to feed his family and hangers-on. It is another “saka muchaita seyi moment” which continues to push the patience of the citizens,” he added.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende