The re-assignment of former cabinet ministers to key roles in the ruling party by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left Zimbabweans talking.
The former cabinet ministers have been given permanent positions at the ruling party’s headquarters, where they would superintend cabinet ministers, to see to it that they conduct their duties in line with the dictates of the party. Using this model Mnangagwa made sure that his former ministers were not only left in the dark, but have direct influence over the new cabinet.
Meanwhile, some analysts have denounced the move saying it is a way by the President to bring the dead wood back into government through the back door, they quiz where the ruling party is going to get the money to pay the former ministers.
According to information for the shake-shake building, these old guards will be paid the same amounts they were getting during the time when they were in cabinet.
Commenting on the matter ZANU PF Secretary for Legal Affairs, Paul Mangwana says the move is justified, as the party is superior to government, and therefore the ministers should be supervised by the party.
According to one analyst, the patronage system has multiple layers, and old guards could resurrect through the back door. Another analyst Elder Mabhunu believes the re-appointments would give them more powers that has potential to undermine the new cabinet.
A Bindura based social and political commentator Hazel Makombe agrees saying the re-appointments means that the new cabinet will not have the required freedom to carry out their duties well.
“Mangwana’s sentiments means the new cabinet’s hands are tied, as the old guards still call the shots.
“Just like during Mugabe’s time, whenever a minister makes moves that are good for the country and perceived to be not in line the party’s ideals, the minister in question could be told to stop it. It once happened when the then Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa once said there was no money to pay bonuses, as the economy couldn’t support the move, Mugabe went on to reverse the position, calling him an enemy of the people,” she says.
Previously, there used to be cabinet, ruling party conflictions, when ZANU PF could take state funds to pay for party programs. During former President Robert Mugabe’s era, public officials, ministers included could be ordered to divert public funds. At one point one of Mugabe’s then Vice-President, Phelekezela Mphoko shocked the nation when he said it was fine for ministers and/ or other public officials to take state funds to pay party programs.