New Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has dissolved the cabinet of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, and temporarily handed over two key ministries to two former ministers under the former regime, the state-owned broadcaster ZBC announced on Monday.
The statement read “The time to form a new government and to “ensure the continuity of essential ministries”, Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed two leading members of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, to the positions of Finance and Foreign Affairs.
Patrick Chinamasa has been entrusted with Finance, a portfolio he has held until recently under the Mugabe regime. During a reshuffle in October, however, he was assigned to the Ministry of Cybersecurity.
"The time to form a new government and to ensure the continuity of essential ministries"
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi inherited the Foreign Affairs ministry. He was in charge of Economic Planning in the last Mugabe government, but had previously held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Patrick Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi find themselves assigned to the posts they lost in October as part of a reshuffle.
President Mnangagwa, who has not yet appointed his new government, will convene a meeting with the directors of all ministries on Tuesday November 28.
Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in on Friday, three days after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, who had been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
The 93-year-old was forced to step down after the military took control of the country in mid-November, under pressure from the population and members of the ruling Zanu-PF.
The army intervened after Emmerson Mnangagwa was ousted from his position as vice-president on November 6. His departure had paved the way for the first lady, Grace Mugabe, to succeed her husband, an unacceptable scenario for the military.
Emmerson Mnangagwa promised on Friday, during his inauguration to rebuild an economy in ruins and serve the nation.
Many Zimbabweans, however, remain skeptical about his intentions: this former loyalist of Robert Mugabe is accused of playing a key role in the repression of Zimbabweans under the former regime.