Mnangagwa to appoint opposition legislators to his cabinet but no GNU


President Emmerson Mnangagwa is likely to appoint one or two legislators from the opposition but will not form a government of national unity.

Mnangagwa won the 30 July elections last week but the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance has rejected the results and is likely to challenge them in court.

The Alliance is also challenging results in 20 constituencies according to media reports.

The government has not yet announced the date when Mnangagwa will be sworn in.

The constitution says the President-Elect takes oath of office on the ninth day after they are declared to be elected or in the event of a challenge to the validity of their election, within forty-eight hours after the Constitutional Court has declared them the winners.

The incumbent President, however, continues in office until the assumption of office of the President-elect.

Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front last week won 145 of the 210 national assembly seats with the MDC Alliance going away with 63.

One went to the National Patriotic Front and another was won by an independent candidate.

While there has been suggestions that Mnangagwa should form a government of national unity, sources say Mnangagwa is likely to appoint one or two legislators from the MDC Alliance into his cabinet but will not form a GNU because it literally paralyses government operations.

They say Mnangagwa tried this when he came into office on 24 November last year but was thwarted by MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mnangagwa had picked Nelson Chamisa and Tapiwa Mashakada, who both served in the inclusive government, but Tsvangirai rejected this saying that Mnangagwa could not hand pick whom he wanted from his party but must let Tsvangirai appoint the two which Mnangagwa refused.

Chamisa is now leader of the opposition and is challenging Mnangagwa’s victory. He is therefore not likely to take kindly to Mnangagwa appointing members of his party, which some say is already divided.

Apart from Tendai Biti, who benefitted most from the recent elections as he clawed his way back to Parliament together with some of his colleagues, several senior members of Chamisa’s own MDC were elected to Parliament including Elias Mudzuri and Douglas Mwonzora who were against Chamisa’s “grabbing” of the party leadership as this was in violation of the party constitution but stuck with him for their own survival.

It is not clear what will happen if Chamisa bars his colleagues from joining Mnangagwa’s cabinet as the constitution does not allow crossing of the floor.

All opposition legislators apart from Masango Matambanadzo of the NPF were elected on the MDC Alliance ticket which can recall them if they cross the floor, but then the question might be who is the MDC Alliance?



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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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