President Mugabe yesterday fired Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa and replaced him with Minister without Portfolio Cde Makhosine Hlongwane, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, announced yesterday. Cde Hlongwane becomes Minister of Sports and Recreation after the component of Culture was given to the new Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage that is headed by former Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Cde Abednigo Ncube.
Cde Langa has had an uneventful tenure, remaining largely silent as various sporting disciplines regressed, principally soccer, under the administration of the bungling Zifa led by the indifferent Dr Cuthbert Dube. “The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr M. J.M. Sibanda, has announced the appointment of Honourable Makhosine Hlongwane by His Excellency the President, Cde R.G Mugabe, as the new Minister of Sport and Recreation.
“He takes over from Honourable Andrew Langa whose services have been terminated. “Kindly note the readjustment from the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, to the Ministry of Sport and Recreation following the creation of a new Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage,” reads a statement by Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba yesterday.
Cde Langa’s sacking comes on the heels of the recent Cabinet reshuffle that saw five ministers and 10 deputy ministers being sworn-in. Two deputy ministers were dropped, while three ministers were reassigned at a ceremony held at State House in Harare last week. The appointments followed the death and reassignment of some ministers and the dismissal of seven ministers and a deputy linked to former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru’s putschist cabal, who were fired for seeking to unconstitutionally depose the President.
The ministers and deputy ministers were sworn-in in terms of Sections 104 (1) and 104 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Cde Langa who is also Insiza North legislator, has been swimming in turbulent political waters as he was suspended as provincial chairman in November last year for allegedly aligning himself with a faction led by the sacked former vice president.
He was also accused of undermining Zanu-PF Women Affairs secretary and First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe’s meet the people rally in Matabeleland South last year. Thirty-One provincial members out of 51 voted to sack him as provincial chairman, a decision that was upheld by the Politburo that slapped him with a three year suspension.
Cde Langa was elected MP for Insiza North constituency in early 2003. During his tenure in Government before his dismissal, Cde Langa served as Deputy Minister Environment and Tourism, in the Inclusive Government he was Deputy Minister Public Service before he was promoted to Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture.