PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe at the weekend disclosed he will reshuffle his Cabinet this week, as the succession circus gripping his Zanu PF party continues unabated.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Political analysts accused Mugabe of hypocrisy and called on the Zanu PF leader to look at his performance first.
Academic and political analyst, Ibbo Mandaza described Mugabe as the worst performer and Zimbabwe’s biggest problem.
“I find it inane to talk about performance, as the basis for a reshuffle in a moribund government. It’s a factional reshuffle,” he said.
“It will be difficult to apply performance measurement and if that were to be used, then Mugabe should go. He is the central problem; the country is basically radar-less. Mugabe is a hypocrite. The buck stops with him.”
Human rights activist, Dewa Mavhinga said the reshuffle could be Mugabe’s way of further weakening beleaguered Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is accused of plotting to topple the country’s sole leader since independence in 1980.
“A Cabinet reshuffle will not be decisive on the succession issue, it could be a further decimation of Mnangagwa’s political support base, but Mugabe might retain a weakened Mnangagwa in the Cabinet,” he said.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said Mugabe’s threats to reshuffle the Cabinet was “much ado about nothing”.
“It’s like applying lipstick to a frog. Nothing will change. If at all we must have a Cabinet reshuffle a few months before a general election, then it should be Mugabe reshuffling himself. He could make changes to the executive every hour or every minute, nothing will change. Mugabe must step down,” he said.
The planned reshuffle was reportedly triggered by nasty fights between Mnangagwa and First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The last Cabinet reshuffle was in September 2015, when Mugabe axed allies of his former deputy, Joice Mujuru, whom he fired in December 2014 over accusations that she was plotting to topple him.
She denied the allegations.
Government sources yesterday claimed Mnangagwa’s lieutenants could be the major causalities.
Among those rumoured to be on the move are Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, a key Mnangagwa ally said to be going back to the Justice portfolio, which will be taken away from the Vice-President.
The appointment of the Chief Justice and Prosecutor-General remain contentious issues with Mnangagwa firmly in the spotlight.
Chinamasa has not endeared himself well with Mugabe and has burnt his fingers after a civil service job cut and expulsion of “Zanu PF youth officers” employed after the 2013 general elections.
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo is reportedly earmarked to take over as Finance minister, with Obert Mpofu likely to replace Chombo.
Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, Tshinga Dube (War Veterans), Joram Gumbo (Transport), Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Foreign Affairs) and Josaya Hungwe (Psychomotor) are among several Mnangagwa allies facing the axe.
Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao could also be on the move, as he is tipped to take over as Public Service minister.
The 93-year-old leader told a Zanu PF youth league meeting on Saturday that he would be looking at the performance of his Cabinet ministers to see if they were still relevant.