President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet choice will swing the game in Zimbabwe’s favour if he brings in the right people.
“If he recycles the old guard and fails to appoint new blood; even from outside his party, he will disappoint and this will make his task even greater than it has to be,” former Movement for Democratic Change policy adviser Eddie Cross says.
Cross, who was among the MDC officials that attended Mnangagwa’s inauguration which MDC Alliance leaders boycotted, said Mnangagwa’s new cabinet will have to be smaller than in the past and should preferably be less than 20 ministers.
It should be made up of “men and women with three main characteristics; they must be people of known integrity, both intellectual and fiduciary; they must have experience and they must have the capacity in both energy and leadership terms to take over the leadership of the tens of thousands employed in our Civil Service and who must do much of the work to turn this country and its economy around,” he said.
“The new President has already, to some extent set the pace. He arrives at work early in the morning, leaves late, he has put new leadership into all branches of the armed forces, is completely revamping the CIO and the police service, he is retraining the entire police force to restore public faith after years of belligerence and corruption.
“He fired 13 permanent secretaries – many of who had thought that the description ‘permanent’ meant just that – jobs for life no matter what. He has dismissed the Prosecutor General because he was not doing his job and has replaced him with someone who I think is an outstanding individual and legal mind.
“But for the world and in particular the international and diplomatic community, it will be his choices for the cabinet that will start to swing the game in our favor. If he recycles the old guard and fails to appoint new blood; even from outside his party, he will disappoint and this will make his task even greater than it has to be.”
Mnangagwa is expected to announce his cabinet this week.