Mzembi major beneficiary in Zim cabinet shake-up
By Lovemore Ranga Mataire
FORMER Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi was a major beneficiary of a cabinet shakeup announced in a statement by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda on Monday.
Mzembi, who marginally lost to Georgia’s Zurab Pololikashvili in the election to choose the new United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general, was on Monday appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing the long-serving Simbarashe Mumbenegwi.
Mumbengegwi has been re-assigned to the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion.
President Mugabe had hinted last Saturday of the changes saying there was need to lay-off chaff and re-assign certain ministers.
Mzembi has been replaced by Edgar Mbwembwe who before his re-assignment was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Major casualties of the shake-up are Priscah Mupfumira (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare), Tshinga Dube (Welfare Services for War Veterans), Faber Chidarikire (Minister of State for Mashonaland West) and Abednico Ncube (Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage) who have all been dropped from Cabinet.
Former Matabeleland North Minister of State, Cain Mathema, becomes the new Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans while former ambassador to Egypt, Aaron Mabhoyi Ncube, takes over from Mathema.
Another huge beneficiary of the changes is Ignatius Chombo, who has been re-assigned to the powerful post of Finance Minister, replacing Patrick Chinamasa who now heads a new Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation.
Former Central Intelligence Organisation boss, Happyton Bonyongwe becomes the new Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, taking over duties that were being undertaken by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In a first since independence, the information portfolios for both party and government are now being headed by one individual, Simon Khaya Moyo who becomes the new Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services while at the same time being the governing Zanu-PF party’s spokesperson.
Former Information Minister Christopher Mushowe is now the Minister of State in the President’s Office Responsible for Scholarships.
Patrick Zhuwao, who was the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment becomes the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. His former ministry is now being headed by Chiratidzo Mabuwa, former Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister.
Webster Shamu bounces back as the new Minister of State for Mashonaland West Province. Before his appointment Shamu, had become a mere MP following the expulsion of former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Another new comer is Paul Chimedza, who comes in as Minister of State for Masvingo Province following the death of Shuvai Ben Mahofa in August this year. Former Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Thokozile Mathuthu has been promoted to the position of Minister of State for Matabeleland North.