By Felex Share and Innocent Ruwende
President Mnangagwa’s new Cabinet is a refreshing start to the Second Republic as it blends young brains with seasoned technocrats with capacity to revive the economy, analysts said yesterday. The Head of State and Government yesterday named a 20-member Cabinet, which saw new faces coming into Government.
Backgrounds of the team show that the new ministers were selected on the basis of competence and merit.
The new Cabinet has six women.
Political analyst Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the new team had the capacity to take Zimbabwe to the Promised Land.
“The salient feature of this Cabinet is that it is an intergenerational mix where the majority are young and technocratic brains that have been blended with experienced and competent seniors,” he said.
“The decision to rest career Cabinet men and women is a strong signal that a new dispensation is upon us and real, with rejuvenated energy and vibrancy to take the country to another level. The President has assigned everyone according to their area of competence and merit and not on political considerations. The new Cabinet has raised optimism, sustained hope and created enthusiasm for Zimbabweans.”
“We believe Patrick Chinamasa (former Finance Minister) did good work but to take us to the next level, vision 2030, Prof Ncube is probably the right man,” Mr Jabangwe said.
“He has the right international contacts, which will make it easy to engage and he is also a technocrat who will be vital as we craft our way into a new future.”
MDC-T vice president Mr Obert Gutu said his party was happy with the new team.
“It brings a new and refreshing set-up,” he said.
“If you look at the new Finance Minister, he has always been a brilliant academic, always top of his class. If we look again at Kirsty Coventry, our history making Olympian, she is young, warm and inspiring. If you take even Dr Obadiah Moyo, he managed to turn around the fortunes of Chitungwiza Central Hospital to be among the best managed medical facilities. Let us give these guys a chance. It is a refreshing start to the Second Republic.”
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Mr Denford Mutashu said: “Prof Ncube is a well-travelled career technocrat who is coming in with vast international and regional experience. Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu is young, energetic and has a finance background.
“He brings in a breath of fresh air. We will support him to ensure he succeeds. The end goal is brand Zimbabwe and its rejuvenation through industrialisation. To also have Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri as the first woman Minister of Defence is a generational revival through recognition of the role of women in society. She has done a lot for the country and deserves the powerful position.”
Medical practitioner and entrepreneur Dr Vivek Solanki said Dr Moyo was a seasoned and pragmatic health systems and hospitals manager.
“He has run Chitungwiza Central Hospital well and it is a leading example of how the rest of our public health facilities should be run,” he said.
“He also has a good grasp of what is required to progress in the private health sector and the needs of doctors against crippling low tariffs by the local medical aids/insurances. A new balance is required and I have full confidence in his abilities to move our health sector forward expeditiously.”
Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary general Mr Enock Dongo weighed in: “This is an improvement from the previous Cabinet and we believe he will change the health sector in Zimbabwe. We are looking forward to a new and different health sector.”
MDC activist Dr Alex Magaisa said on Kirst Coventry and Prof Mthuli, President Mnangagwa made “meritocratic appointments.”
“It is also a show of respect for sports people to appoint one of their own and an accomplished one at that,” he tweeted.
“I wish @KirstyCoventry well and I hope she gets all the support she needs to make it work.”
On Prof Mthuli, he said: “An accomplished scholar, his intellectual pedigree is not in doubt… my old boss Morgan Tsvangirai had great respect for him and would have asked him to run the central bank if he had been allowed to govern.”
Zimbabwe motor racing driver Axcil Jefferies said: “Welcoming Coventry. Finally an experienced and qualified athlete with the credentials for the position.”
“He has also demonstrated open mindedness by minimising clashes with his local authorities,” he said.
“I am confident he will do well.”
Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director Mr Paul Zakaria said retaining Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri should ensure continuity.
“Since he took charge of the Ministry over eight months ago, marked progress has been registered,” he said.
“A much needed stability on the farms was beginning to show and confidence levels were increasing. Clearly farmers expect the bringing to finality of the land issues, land tenure security, rationalisation of farm sizes and allocations.
“Production costs will need to be dealt with in order to make agriculture more competitive comparing with countries elsewhere in the region. Finalisation of a comprehensive agricultural policy will take planning to a much higher level. There should be issues of infrastructure development where investment and development of irrigation will be key.”