New ministers and deputy ministers sworn-in by President Mugabe yesterday expressed happiness at the faith vested in them and pledged to deliver on their mandates in line with the 10-Point Plan outlined in the State of the Nation Address recently delivered by President Mugabe.
The new Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said President Mugabe clearly spelt out his expectations. “The President said he wants me to ensure that we sort our roads, some of which, he said have become death traps for instance the Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways,” he said.
“So he said he wants these roads to be dualised. He also said we should revamp the railway system and ensure Air Zimbabwe is back in full force. Together with the team at the ministry and other related departments, we will work hard to ensure that we deliver on that front. That is the only way, I can vindicate President Mugabe for appointing me to be in charge of this ministry.
“The President also said there is a lot of corruption in the sector, so I should be vigilant to ensure that it doesn’t happen under my watch.”
Dr Gumbo, who is taking over from Dr Obert Mpofu, said he would consult with his predecessor and carry forward the vision of ensuring that the country’s transport and infrastructure systems are up to standard.
Cde Patrick Zhuwao, the new Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, said he would carry on from where his predecessor Minister Christopher Mushohwe left.
“What I need to do first is just to pick up where my predecessor has left off and continue with those national assignments.
“As you are aware, this zanu-pf Government was elected on a mandate of indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation. So I believe it will be my responsibility to ensure that we continue with that programme of indigenisation as articulated by His Excellency,” he said.
The new Minister of State in the Office of Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Tabetha Kanengoni- Malinga said she was happy and honoured by her elevation.
“The Vice President has welcomed me in his offices. He oversees a number of ministries that look at the Social Service and Poverty Eradication Cluster and Infrastructure and Development Cluster; two of the four clusters in Zim-Asset. He also oversees the Ministry that has to do with national healing.
“I will use all my energy to make sure I assist him in his duties as directed by the President. I am happy because I am the youngest in Cabinet at 33 years and I expect to use my youth experience. “I take it as an opportunity to be a role model for the young women and young people to be patriotic citizens and give back to the community,” Minister Kanengoni-Malinga said.
Minister Makhosini Hlongwane said his focus as Minister without Portfolio was to find ways on how the country could improve and accelerate economic development.
“My first port of call is focusing on economic growth which is being spearheaded by all Government Ministries.
“Government energy has to be directed towards the development agenda and my efforts should be directed to the 10-Point Plan together with Zim-Asset,” he said.
The new deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Cde Thokozile Mathuthu said: “I am deputising the minister. It won’t be me in charge of Media and Information. We will be guided by the instructions from Cabinet through our minister and then we will take it from there.”
Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Cde Annastancia Ndhlovu, said she was excited to have been appointed and pledged to work hard in assisting Minister Walter Mzembi.
“The minister as you are aware, has already spoken about Government’s vision of a $1 billion economy through tourism and the Minister of Finance in his budget statement also made reference to the fact that the tourism sector is one of the low hanging fruit sectors which if supported fully can help the country to achieve economic development for the betterment of the livelihoods of our people.
“Together with the Minister, we have a lot of work to do in terms of advertising the Victoria Falls more aggressively so that we don’t have people visiting the Vic Falls from South Africa,” Cde Ndhlovu said.
The new Minister in Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Office, Cde Clifford Sibanda said his role was to assist the VP in carrying out his mandate.
“I will assist the Vice President in whatever duties assigned to him by the President. The VP has got quite a lot in his hands, so as minister, I will move to assist in whatever way I would have been assigned,” he said.
Cde Tapiwanashe Matangaidze (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister) said his ministry faced a myriad of challenges that needed urgent attention among them improving relations between employers and employees.
“That is the only way we can move forward as a country because this is what is the determination of the Government of Zimbabwe,” said Cde Matangaidze.
Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube who will deputise Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa in the Ministry of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Detainees and Restrictees, said his focus was in improving the lives and welfare of war veterans.
“I will try my best to revamp the Ministry as l will chip in with my own ideas to the Minister on how we can improve the welfare of the war veterans as we will be working together.
“However, l will first get a briefing from the Minister on what he wants me to do and what his policies are and the issues to work on,” he said.