PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa should appoint a corruption-free, younger, skilled and experienced Cabinet to take the country out of its current pitiful economic state within the shortest possible time, analysts and opposition parties have advised.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said Mnangagwa, having been in government for 37 years, should assemble a team different from his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, who seemed to reward patronage ahead of skills and ability.
“The new Cabinet should be lean and efficient. It must deliver on government policies and be able to urgently turn around the comatose national economy,” he said.
“In fact, President Mnangagwa should give the new Cabinet performance-related targets.
“Cabinet ministers must operate on a results-based system.
“Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should also be put in place.
“In the first 100 days, the crippling liquidity crunch should be sorted out and the skyrocketing prices of basic goods and commodities should just stop.”
Political analyst, Alexander Rusero said ordinary Zimbabweans expect Mnangagwa’s appointments to be based on merit ahead of region, political status and tribe.
“What the ordinary folk out there want is a Cabinet which will ensure they eat from the table of rulers,” he said.
“He must appoint a Cabinet of technocrats, people, who know how the job is done, not those who want to know if the job was done. He must appoint doers.
“He has to balance political acumen and businesspeople.
“If you look at the Mugabe regime, appointments were based on regions and political nepotism.
“It was an elite club, which, in the process, alienated itself from the people. ED (Mnangagwa) should appoint people, who will share the cake and not eat alone like what we saw under Mugabe’s rule.”
However, according to the Constitution, any appointments must ensure there is a fair regional representation.
Academic and researcher, Mandivamba Rukuni said Mnangagwa should not appoint anyone, who worked for years under Mugabe, as people were “fed up” with the old regime, which has been blamed for the country’s economic collapse.
“His selection must be guided because people are fed up with Zanu PF and he needs to appoint people with no links to the old Mugabe regime,” he said.
“People really don’t want any reminder whatsoever of the past regime.”
The MDC said Mnangagwa should set up a government that would ensure the military respects civilian rule.
Party spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said Mnangagwa has the task of ensuring that his government guarantees free and fair elections without the involvement of the military.
Harare Residents’ Trust co-ordinator, Precious Shumba said the new Cabinet should be reflective of Zimbabwe’s demographic state by having at least 50% young people.
“No to failed ministers, who have failed as government’s policymakers. We want a Cabinet that is representative of Zimbabwe’s society,” he said.
“This Cabinet must have people, men and women, who have people at heart and they must engage all stakeholders in a non-discriminatory manner and with a hands-on practical approach.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions western region chairman, Ambrose Sibindi said they expected Mnangagwa to appoint a Labour minister, who is knowledgeable about workers’ issues.
“In the Labour ministry, we expect the President to appoint someone who knows labour issues,” he said.
“We have had problems with some of the ministers appointed to this portfolio, who were very ignorant about labour issues.”
A Bulawayo resident, Anele Mhlanga (64), said the new Cabinet should ensure the issue of liquidity is urgently addressed.
“As old as I am, I cannot keep waking up at 4am daily to queue for money at the bank as if it is a crime to have money in the bank.
“The Cabinet has to see to it that we get our money swiftly like we used to some years back,” he said.
Thembinkosi Ndebele (42) expected a leaner Cabinet.
“We do not want a situation where ministries are just created for the sake of accommodating friends,” he said.
“We need to be realistic as a country and have relevant ministries.
“Some ministries can even be combined and be headed by one minister as a way of cutting costs because in the end, it is us the ordinary taxpayers who meet these expenses.”
Tinashe Chideme, a university student, said they anticipate a government that will create jobs.
Meanwhile, churches said they were cautiously observing Mnangagwa’s reign, warning people would not hesitate to remove him should he fall into his predecessor’s trap of abuse of power.
Speaking at a churches’ interface meeting with politicians from several parties in Harare yesterday, churches and civil society organisations warned abuse of power would not be tolerated anymore in Zimbabwe.
“It is, however, important for the international community to know, for the military to understand and for Zanu PF to take note that the united citizens of Zimbabwe, who thronged the streets of Zimbabwe on November 18 demanding Mugabe to resign, were not doing so because they preferred the current or recently inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Zimbabwe Divine Destiny leader, Ancelimo Magaya said.
“Zimbabweans didn’t march to demand the ouster of Mugabe the personality, but of Mugabe the system of which he happened to be the principal. What Zimbabweans were celebrating was the hope that finally the following evils would be rid of together with Mugabe who presided over them.”
He said Mnangagwa has an opportunity to differentiate himself from the violent suppression of people’s freedoms, such as violent election campaigns, torture, abductions, selective application of the law, intimidation of citizens, recycling of old and incompetent officials into key positions and violation of the Constitution, among other ills suffered under Mugabe’s regime.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary-general, Kenneth Mtata said it was critical for the government to ensure credible, free and fair elections next year.
“If we are going to move forward as a nation, we need to restore our integrity, and, as we are going for elections next year, we need protection of the vote,” he said.
Zimbabwe Peace Project director, Jestina Mukoko said the Church must be neutral and avoid being captured in the same manner other church organisations were voluntarily aiding oppressive rule by siding with Zanu PF factions.