Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zanu PF frustrates technocrats

By Mugove Tafirenyika

Technocrats in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet are seen failing to deliver on their mandates due to constant interference from Zanu PF politicians, analysts say.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and Acie Lumumba (insert)
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and Acie Lumumba (insert)

Last month, Mnangagwa appointed a lean, 20-member Cabinet which was well-received by his friends and foes alike.

A few technocrats made their way into his Cabinet, among them Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, whose austerity measures are being resisted by Zanu PF hardliners.

Ncube has been criticised for introducing a punitive tax regime that requires the transacting public to pay a two percent tax from all electronic transactions in excess of $10 and for appointing Acie Lumumba as head of a communications taskforce.

Zanu PF honchos based at the ruling party headquarters in Harare, among them secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and youth league deputy secretary Lewis Matutu have publicly differed with Ncube, who has since been forced to reverse Lumumba’s appointment.

Other newcomers with technocratic backgrounds in Mnangagwa’s Cabinet include Sekai Nzenza (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare), Kirsty Coventry (Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation) and Mangaliso Ndlovu (Industry and Commerce).

United Kingdom-based political analyst Alex Magaisa opined that the discord between government and party officials was indicative that factionalism was rearing its ugly head again in Zanu PF to the detriment of national development.

“It’s clear there is a factional fight going on behind the scenes and the Finance minister got into this regime without a proper understanding of the nuances of the political environment,” Magaisa told the Daily News.

He said without political power — “the hard currency of politics — technocrats such as Ncube were bound to fail.

“Mthuli does not have any political power or a constituency to fall back on. Real power lies at Shake-Shake building and this is why Mpofu and now Matutu have disowned and attacked him publicly. Mthuli will soon be frustrated because Zanu PF is not and will never be ready for change,” he said.

Another analyst Maxwell Saungweme said what is happening in government was typical of Zanu PF since it came to power in 1980.

“This is not new and it’s clear their current policy discord is based on factional lines- soldiers versus others, bigwigs in party versus technocrats in Cabinet, the old guard versus the young etc.,” Saungweme said. DailyNews