Former deputy Prime-Minister Arthur Mutambara has cautioned Zimbabweans not to think they were behind the sacking of former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora. Dokora was fired from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first Cabinet barely 48 hours after being appointed and without being sworn in. A number of Zimbabweans have rejoiced and celebrated Dokora’s sacking claiming that Mnangagwa had listened to the wishes of the people.
However, Mutambara has said that this thinking is flawed as the Cabinet adjustment announced by Misheck Sibanda, the Chief Secretary to the President And Cabinet, on Saturday had nothing to do with the public’s disapproval of the cabinet appointments. According to Mutambara, the President made the adjustments after realising that his Cabinet was illegal. Speaking on Social media site Twitter, Mutambara said:
Just a word of caution. The Cabinet adjustments this morning have nothing to do with outcry about the quality of ministers. The adjustments are meant to address the illegality of the Cabinet. Dokora frees a non-constituent slot, while Nyati & Mutsvangwa are no longer ministers.
According to the Constitution, the president is only allowed to choose five non-parliamentarians as ministers. However, in his first Cabinet appointments, Mnangagwa picked at least 9 non-parliamentarians. Therefore, in order to correct the illegality, Mnangagwa chose to drop four previously appointed ministers who are not Members of Parliament. Dokora was the major casualty as he was fired form Mnangagwa’s administration entirely while Chris Mutsvangwa, Professor Clever Nyathi and Joshua Teke Malinga were reassigned as special advisors to the president.
Here are the amendments:
Former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora was replaced as minister by his former deputy Paul Mavima, who is an elected MP.
Professor Clever Nyathi was replaced as Minister of Labour and Social Welfare by Petronella Kagonye, an elected MP.
Chris Mutsvangwa was named as a Special Advisor to the President, although the press statement did not mention who would replace him as Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.
Joshua Malinga who was previously named as Deputy Minister for Social Welfare was reassigned as a Special Advisor in the Office of the President on Disability Issues.
In the Press statement, Sibanda also alluded to the Constitutional Issue saying:
Following an earlier announcement by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet on appointments to Government, the following adjustments have been made to ensure compliance with the Constitution and considerations of gender, demography and special needs.
The Non-parliamentarians who were Initially Named In Mnangagwa’ Cabinet
Air Marshal Perrance Shiri- Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
Major General Sibusiso Moyo – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
July Moyo – Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
Professor Amon Murwira – Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development
Professor Clever Nyathi – Minister of Labour and Social Welfare
Winston Chitando – Minister of Mines and Mining Development
Chris Mutsvangwa – Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services
Victor Matemadanda – Deputy Minister for War Veterans
Pupurai Togarepi – Deputy Minister for Youth
Joshua Malinga – Deputy Minister for Social Welfare.