PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government got off to a false start, as he was forced by the Constitution to drop some of the ministers he had selected to his Cabinet.
It is quite an inglorious way to begin his term of office and we hope that this does not become a characteristic of his time in power, where he is forced to retrace his steps frequently.
The Constitution allows the President to make five ministerial appointments from outside Parliament, but he went on to make double that number.
As a lawyer, Mnangagwa should have realised that his appointments are illegal and should have rectified the announcements before making his announcements.
His advisors should have also spotted the anomaly, instead of allowing the President to make the announcements and then beat a hasty retreat.
Most of the people surrounding Mnangagwa have been in government for eons and it would not be asking too much to expect them to have a grasp of the Constitution and to know how many people he can appoint from outside Parliament.
Such a gaffe should not have been allowed to occur and hopefully we will not see such in future.
Going forward, we expect Mnangagwa to be vigilant and aware of Constitutional requirements, lest he spends most of his time at the Constitutional Court defending his decisions at best or at worst being forced to retreat and reverse his decisions.
Meanwhile, Cabinet ministers are expected to be sworn in today and they have a hectic eight months or so ahead of them before the next elections.
It is trite to mention that they must hit the ground running, as the country is in shambles, politically, economically and socially.
While the new government has been greeted with euphoria, they will soon realise that the public mood changes quite quickly if the situation on the ground does not improve.
Zimbabweans have very high expectations to the extent that others believe the fall of strongman, Robert Mugabe will herald quick fixes and an immediate improvement in their circumstances.
In these eight months, the government must ensure that hospitals are well-stocked, find a solution to the cash crisis and stabilise the economy, otherwise they will be toast in the next elections.
There is no time for back-patting and self-congratulations, instead the new ministers ought to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
Zimbabwe is in a pitiful state, meaning it requires all hands on deck.