By Nkululeko Sibanda (Presidential Spokesperson)
Zimbabwe is naturally endowed with beauty and brains. The Declared-President Mnangagwa cannot put lipstick on a pig and then declare it Miss Zimbabwe. An illegitimate President cannot put two fresh apples in a rotten basket and hope to produce clean basket.
One wonders if ‘new-dispensation’ means that you can cook in a dirty pot and hope that using two cups of clean water will produce clean food. This cabinet suffers a lot of previous co-morbidities and dirty baggage.
The appointed of a couple of notable names is just but a cheap attempt to give gravitas to a weak president. President Mnangagwa’s inauguration ignited a catastrophic economic decline, like no other just after an election. A government is as strong as its leader and as economically capable as it is legitimate. Name bombing, by throwing into the basket Professor Ncube and Kirsty Coventry is an unsophisticated way of pampering a largely incontinent cabinet.
As Zimbabwe will already know President Mnangagwa has no respect for the constitution and the law but it is not anyone’s expectation that he would continue to subvert the law. His appointments are unconstitutional and against his stated objectives to implement devolution.
He has appointed ministers of state, who are unconstitutional in the first instance and a subversion of devolution. Provincial councils will have no role in circumstances where a province already has an executive minister.
It is also a shame that the declared President has announced 43 ministers and deputies and lies that he appointed 20 ministers. Zimbabweans can see through the lie. Creating 20 ministries is not the same as appointing 20 ministers and this president knows that he is lying.
The appointment of a minister of local government is also a relic of an old habit that is unconstitutional. By creating local government and devolution the constitution intended to have people government their matters close to home. This ministry is no longer necessary and is intended to fight against devolution.
Notably this cabinet does not have sufficient representation of women, young people and war veterans, even by weak ZANU PF standards.
We know that Zimbabweans know that any minister works as part of a cabinet. This means that it does not matter who is appointed into a weak government, led by an illegitimate president. A government is as strong as its weakest link and a raped election produced a raped economy.
The President Advocate Nelson Chamisa did set out, during his campaign and in his smart policy programme, a gold standard that this country could follow in the appointment of ministers, reducing them to no more than 15. This would guide his work in government.
Owing it to the 2.6 million voters who delivered an electoral and numbers-based victory, Zimbabwe can expect that he is prepared to drive this economy forward. He has the right skills and the right teams to resuscitate this economy.
Dr Nkululeko Sibanda is the Presidential Spokesperson for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa