Nepotism Nightmare: Valerio BLASTS new Cabinet as Mnangagwa’s son and nephew land plush State jobs

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recently unveiled cabinet appointments have faced criticism from opposition figures who argue it does not sufficiently address Zimbabwe’s pressing economic difficulties.

Elisabeth Valerio, leader of the United Zimbabwe Alliance party that contested August’s elections, noted that many citizens suffering hardship had hoped for signs the cabinet prioritized turning the economy around. For over two decades, Zimbabweans have grappled with challenges like hyperinflation and a collapse in living standards.

Valerio said appointing relatives like the president’s son and nephew to key roles smacked of maintaining political dynasties rather than enacting urgent reform. She advocated for a leaner structure combining ministries, gender balance, and bringing talented young people into leadership. Some analysts share such views, adding that a clearer economic emergency mandate may have reassured the public.

Since taking charge in 2017, Mnangagwa has aimed to restart growth disrupted by the Mugabe era. However, challenges persist rebuilding agriculture and industry while also requiring international support. Currency shortages mean dollars now informally replace the worthless local currency.

Critics argue bolder cabinet selections positioning quick reforms as the top priority could have signalled a willingness to confront Zimbabwe’s deep-rooted difficulties head-on. Political equilibriums and patronage are also factors. Substantively turning the country’s trajectory around after years of turmoil will be an immense, long-term task demanding coordinated effort and resilience across many fronts. The new cabinet’s approach to addressing economic fundamentals could indicate how the administration plans to steer the challenging journey ahead.

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