April 16, 2005

MP's sworn in, new ministers appointed

New members of parliament have been sworn in, including 30 unelected ruling party loyalists that guarantee President Robert Mugabe a majority following the parliamentary elections. The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) lodged the first of what it said would be a series of court challenges to the vote results. But MDC MPs still took the oath in the new parliament, dispelling speculation that the party might boycott the legislature to show its displeasure. Among those appointed to seats were Vice President Joseph Msika, who did not stand in the election, and outgoing Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa who received another presidential appointment after posting his second consecutive loss to an opposition candidate in his district. The ruling party successfully nominated its national chairman John Nkomo as new speaker of parliament.

In the meantime, President Mugabe has also appointed the new and old ministers of the new cabinet. Fromer Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, is now State Security Minister. Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Great Britain, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, takes over as Foreign Affairs Minister from Stan Mudenge, who has been demoted to the Higher and Tertiary Education Ministry and who had supported former government propaganda chief Jonathan Moyo in a plot to block the elevation of Joyce Mujuru to second vice-president of Zanu PF.

A new Ministry that of Rural Housing and Social Amenities, has also been created to accommodate former parliamentary speaker, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is leading the faction of Zanu PF that also included Moyo. Long-time Zimbabwe representative to the United Nations, Tichaona Jokonya, takes over as government chief spin doctor at the Ministry of Information and Publicity. Sydney Sekeramayi was retained as Defence Minister, so was Kembo Mohadi at Home Affairs and Herbert Murerwa, acting Finance Minister since last year takes over at the ministry. Murerwa’s ministry, which used to be called the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development was also split up to create the Ministry of Economic Development with Rugare Gumbo as its head. Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu becomes Minister of Industry and International Trade replacing Samuel Mumbengegwi. Patrick Chinamasa was retained at the Justice Ministry. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was also retained in his post. Also retained are Education Sports and Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere; Health and Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa; Local Government and National Housing, Ignatius Chombo; Transport, Chris Mushowe; Mines and Mining Development Amos Midzi, Youth Development and Employment Creation, Ambrose Mutinhiri; State Policy and Implementation, Webster Shamu; Indigenisation and Employment Creation Josiah Tungamirai and Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni. Besides Mnangagwa’s ministry, three other new ministries were created with former army general and governor of Manicaland province Mike Nyambuya appointed new Minister of Energy and Power Development. (Zimbabwe Online / Rts)

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