Mnangagwa and cabinet getting straight to work


President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who held his first cabinet meeting today since being sworn in on 26 August, said they were going straight to work to address the challenges the country is facing, including overcoming the cholera outbreak.

Mnangagwa appointed a trimmed 20-member cabinet on 7 September and swore them in last Monday.

The cabinet has largely been welcomed by both industry and commerce but critics are not giving Mnangagwa and his cabinet time to settle down to address the challenges that the country is facing.

Mnangagwa tweeted after the meeting: “Delighted to preside over the 1st meeting of our new cabinet this morning. We are getting straight to work in addressing the challenges we face, including overcoming the cholera outbreak. Let’s all have an effective & productive week building our new Zimbabwe, one brick at a time.”

Cholera has so far claimed 30 lives and Mnangagwa has been blamed for remaining silent on the epidemic while his government splashed money on luxuries like cars for Members of Parliament and allegedly chartering a plane to take former President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace to Singapore for treatment.

Mnangagwa arranged a plane for Grace Mugabe to come and attend her mother’s funeral but his spokesman said the plane was paid for by individuals and not the government.

While his critics continue to holler that Mnangagwa cannot turn around the country the market seems to be welcoming his new administration.

The Old Mutual Implied Rate which had taken time to respond to Mnangagwa’s new cabinet today dropped by 18 percent to 2.5252.

The OMIR is used by the market to determine the real exchange rate of the bond note against the United States dollar and is based on the difference between the price of the Old Mutual shares in London and Harare.

Mnangagwa is due to set the tone of his new administration tomorrow when he officially opens Parliament and gives his State of the Nation Address.

There are fears that Mnangagwa’s address could be spoiled by protests from the opposition which claims that he lost the election to their leader Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa lost the 30 July elections to Mnangagwa by more than 300 000 votes but he claims that he won the elections and was robbed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

He had planned to inaugurate himself as the “people’s president” at the weekend when the Movement for Democratic Change celebrated its 19th anniversary but the event was cancelled because of the cholera outbreak in the capital.

Although the party says it will hold the anniversary at a later date, the swearing in ceremony, already seems to be losing steam.

Chamisa is instead pressing for dialogue with Mnangagwa but Mnangagwa has repeatedly said there is no need for dialogue.

The opposition, he says, must play its role of keeping government in check.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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