ZIMBABWE – Opposition MDC leader Welshman Ncube has accused President Robert Mugabe of humiliating Zanu PF ministers from Matebeleland and reducing their influence in government with his three cabinet reshuffles in less than a year.
The cabinet changes were supposedly intended to weed out suspected loyalists of former vice president Joice Mujuru who was ousted for allegedly plotting a coup against Mugabe.
Analysts say the reshuffles, effected since the December 2014 split in the top echelons of the ruling party have also seen vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa strengthen his succession chances by ensuring the appointment of top allies to cabinet.
The First Lady (Grace Mugabe) has also had a hand in the appointments although, in her case, it’s not necessarily about preparing to take over from her husband but ensuring her security when the veteran leader is no longer in office, said a party insider last week.
The notable recent changes have however, seen Simon Khaya Moyo, Obert Mpofu and Jonathan Moyo all from Matebeleland moving ministries while Andrew Langa was fired as sports minister just last week.
Former industry minister Welshman Ncube, in his weekly commentary on socio-economic and political issues, said these latest changes had dished out collective humiliation (to) ministers from the southern region.
The humiliation of Obert Mpofu and Simon Khaya Moyo by being shunted to wholly meaningless ministries or non-ministries was perhaps foretold by the political demotion of Professor Jonathan Moyo to Higher and Tertiary Education, Ncube wrote.
To put the icing on the cake, (last) week ends with the unceremonious sacking of former Sports and Recreation Minister, Andrew Langa.
He added: We should be frightened. Look at the final outlook of the Cabinet and what it speaks to about the Constitutional ideal of an equal citizenship.
However, Zanu PF’s Europe representative Nick Mangwana rejected Ncube’s criticism and accused the law professor of choosing to â€œmajor in minors.
MPs can focus on their constituency, but the constituency of a cabinet minister is Zimbabwe, Mangwana told NewZimbabwe.com.
Regarding what Welshman (Ncube) said, if anyone goes through a cabinet list with a fine tooth comb they will always be able to find fault. That’s a standard finding if one chooses to major in minors.
He added: People should be in jobs on merit and not because of where they come from.
These are government jobs and everyone should execute their roles without favour or home-base favouritism.
Regional considerations should not be an issue because if you are a sport and recreation minister, say from Mutare, you are not going to suddenly send a lot bands and football teams to Manicaland.