Same old, same old?
Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU PF Politburo met and appointed most of the dropped ministers from the previous Cabinet as full time party officials in eleven party departments, presumably on good pay and keeping their big cars and security personnel (payable by whom, the party or the taxpayer?). The most wealthy, Obert Mpofu, remains as secretary for administration, Mr Mumbengegwi, former foreign minister remains as secretary of foreign relations, and so it goes on.
S.K. Moyo, the party information spokesman and, variously, former minister of information etc, says the Politburo is the supreme policy making body and essentially shapes Cabinet policy and decisions of the executive arms of government. The Politburo is based on the old Soviet model.
Will the Dream Team of new ministers, as the state Herald newspaper and ZTV call them, be able, therefore, to withstand pressure from their predecessors in the Politburo to carry out their own promised reforms?
How much leeway will the new ministers get to bring us back from the precipice the Politburo led us to in the first place?
There is one body of opinion that the new Cabinet is Mr “We are open for business” Mnangagwa’s personal selection, he has clipped the wings of Vice President General Chiwenga by relieving him of the defence ministry and, in accordance with local culture, Mr Mnanangagwa now becomes the supreme chief who must be obeyed at all costs, just as the politburo and Cabinet obeyed Mr Mugabe before the Chiwenga-led ‘coup that wasn’t a coup’ last November. It all now hangs on Mr Mnangagwa’s sincerity and whether he can retain his full authority over the others.
The clock on the tower at Harare Central Remand Prison has long been stopped at a few minutes past one. It doesn’t matter if it’s AM or PM to those locked up there, many still on remand without legal advice, for all the years the clock has been out of action. Sure, if they are not in ghastly depredation, they would prefer attention, not to the clock, but to the prison’s squalid conditions – shortages of food and clean water and toilet paper, no less. Pages of Bibles donated by churches have been ripped out for ablution use.
It should be time profligate spending by the ruling party and the government on cars and other luxuries ends and the money is directed towards critically broke health, prisons, government facilities, education and basic public services like the chaotic sanitation that his month has already seen a new outbreak of cholera claiming many lives in the supposedly modern capital city of 2018 Harare
One of the traditional chiefs brand new cars already written off.
Furniture in a Zimbabwean courthouse.