Ministers Prioritise Economic Revival

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday swore into office 21 Cabinet Ministers who in turn committed themselves to work towards economic revival and an improvement in people’s livelihoods. Also to take oath of office before the President at State House were two deputy ministers and 10 Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs. This follows the appointment of a leaner Cabinet by President Mnangagwa last Thursday, who took over from Cde Robert Mugabe.

Cde Mugabe resigned on November 21. Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Air Marshal Perrance Shiri said the honeymoon was over for underperforming farmers. “I want to ensure that all land is fully utilised and apart from that, we want productivity to be increased,” he said.

“Agriculture contributes a lot towards gross domestic product (GDP) in the country, wealth creation and foreign currency earning. We just have to live up to the expectations of the nation.” He said Command Agriculture was there to stay as it was key to economic revival.

Air Marshal Shiri, who was Air Force of Zimbabwe commander prior to the new appointment, used to chair the Command Agriculture technical implementation committee. The programme saw Zimbabwe, this year, registering a bumper harvest for the first time in many years. Commenting on the alleged militarisation of Government, he said: “When I was in the military, I was under (the) Ministry of Defence, which is part of Government, and who says military people should never be politicians? I am a Zimbabwean and have every right to participate in the country’s politics.”

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Major-General Sibusiso Moyo said his priority was “economic diplomacy” or “transactional diplomacy”. Asked what he meant, he responded: “win-win (situation).” Mines and Mining Development Minister Mr Winston Chitando said: “I am humbled by the appointment and all I can say is I look forward to being part of the process of growing our mining industry for the benefit of the people.”

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said his ministry would uphold constitutional democracy. “The immediate tasks will be seen when I get to the office, but corruption is a top priority,” he said.

“We cannot have people hiding behind the fingers of authorities to do corruption. Everyone is equal and if you have done something wrong, due process must be followed without fear or favour.” The new Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde July Moyo said his vision was to make the country’s local authorities deliver on their promises.

“My vision is to study the system that is operating in local Government because local Government constitutes the bulk of the budget of this country. If you put cumulatively all the budgets of the local authorities and the services they ought to deliver, it makes a huge impact and that is what I want to concentrate on.”

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira: “It is good to be back in Government with a new assignment, which I promise to execute industriously. “The President has set the tone and it means we have to hit the ground running.” Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the appointment came as a surprise. “I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.

“Going forward now, it means work, work and work. I will first have an appreciation of what they have been doing in the ministry before coming up with a new direction.” In the education sector, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima said the new curriculum was “good” in terms of content, but operational issues needed to be tackled.

“There are a number of areas, especially related to specific syllabi that we have to look at. The budgeting of time is important; (that is) making sure specific tasks are meaningful in terms of providing a learning opportunity for the students,” he said.

“By and large, it’s a good curriculum which brings in issues of problem solving, critical thinking, developing entrepreneurship and above all it, promotes patriotism.” He said implementation of the new curriculum, which began this year, would be reviewed with necessary adjustments being made. Labour and Social Welfare Minister Petronella Kagonye said she “hoped to tackle the many issues that come with the labour ministry”.

Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who retained her position as Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, said focus would be on climate change, development of wildlife and fisheries. Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he would comment after presenting the 2018 National Budget on Thursday.

Other ministers who were sworn in yesterday are Cdes Sithembiso Nyoni (Women and Youth Affairs); Professor Amon Murwira (Higher Education, Science and Technology Development); Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo (Energy and Power Development); Jorum Gumbo (Transport and Infrastructural Development); Mr Supa Mandiwanzira (Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security); Dr Mike Bimha (Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development); Mr Kembo Mohadi (Defence, Security and War Veterans); Dr Obert Mpofu (Home Affairs and Culture); and Dr David Parirenyatwa (Health and Child Care).

The two deputy ministers are Cdes Terrence Mukupe (Finance and Economic Planning) and Mr Davis Marapira (Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement).

Provincial Affairs Ministers who took oath of office are Cdes Miriam Chikukwa (Harare), Advocate Martin Dinha (Mashonaland Central); Cde Webster Shamhu (Mashonaland West); Cde Angeline Masuku (Bulawayo); Cde Monica Mutsvangwa (Manicaland); Cde David Musabayana (Mashonaland East); Cde Cain Mathema (Matabeleland North); Cde Josiah Hungwe (Masvingo); Cde Owen Ncube (Midlands); and Cde Abednico Ncube (Matabeleland South).

Dr Christopher Mushohwe was sworn in as the Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the President’s Office. Prosecutor-General Advocate Ray Goba also took the oath of office.