Farai Dzirutwe News Editor
The appointment of the new Cabinet this week by President Mnangagwa was informed by the country’s development agenda and premised on constitutional provisions, taking into account the need for a generational mix and the principles of meritocracy, gender and regional balance.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere yesterday said the characterisation of the newly-appointed executive as “bloated” or “big” in some quarters, was “negative noise” from people who did not understand legal processes around the election and appointment of Government officials.
In an interview, Dr Muswere said following President Mnangagwa’s undisputed re-election on August 23 and subsequent inauguration on September 4, the Head of State and Government exercised his constitutional mandate and obligation to appoint Cabinet Ministers, their deputies as well as Provincial Ministers of State.
All this was done in terms of Section 104 of the Constitution and with due regard to all legal parameters around such appointments.
The ministers had been selected on the basis of merit, generational mix and after careful scrutinisation of their professional backgrounds and ability to deliver service in fulfilment of the ruling party’s election promises.
“The Constitution clearly spells out the parameters around the appointment of Ministers and these include gender and regional balance.
“The appointments were based on merit, our development trajectory and the magnitude of the challenges were are facing as a nation.
“In terms of Section 93 of the Constitution, any party aggrieved by the outcome of elections has a legal right to a court challenge.
“After the recent elections, no one complained at law, about their outcome and this paved the way for all the other processes which culminated in the appointment of the ministers,” said Minister Muswere.
“The allegation that the Cabinet is big is a mere perception held by opposition activists who are ignorant of the provisions of the Constitution.”
“This is negative noise which is misdirected because the President is mandated to appoint the Cabinet based on legal parameters.
“There was no litigation related to the election outcome. This issue was finalised by Zimbabweans through voting.”
Dr Muswere dismissed allegations of nepotism in the appointment of the Ministers saying their selection was based on their capacity to deliver service in line with the goals of the National Development Strategy 1 and 2.
“Questions have been raised on the appointment of Kudakwashe David Mnangagwa as Deputy Minister (of Finance) but perhaps there is ignorance around the fact that he is an elected Member of Parliament which is one of the pre-requisites for one to get such an appointment.
“In terms of academic qualifications and skills, he holds three degrees; Acturial Science, Law and Tourism.
“He has been one of the few acturial scientists practising in the country and this is a highly specialised field.
“We require such rare skills as we journey towards economic growth, macro-economic stability and the implementation of the National Development Strategy 2.
“There is need to look at the right people and put them in the right positions. If he had been elected outside legal provisions, then perhaps there might have been a case for nepotism,” said Minister Muswere.
He also dispelled the notion that the Government had reacted negatively to the preliminary report of the SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM) after the August 23 harmonised elections won by President Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu PF party which secured a parliamentary majority.
The report generally cast aspersations on the conduct of the harmonised elections, alleging that the electoral playing field was uneven.
However, other observer missions had different positions noting that the election period was very peaceful while the general conditions were very good for a credible electoral process.
“As the host nation, we invited Sadc, the EU and other observer missions. They looked at a number of issues and have come up with preliminary reports.
“In respect of the Sadc preliminary report, it will be reviewed after which it may be amended, adopted or rejected.
“As Government, we will not say much at this point except to note that there was no litigation related to the election outcome.
“As far as we are concerned, the majority of the people voted for President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF. All the necessary legal processes were followed which culminated in the inauguration of the President and the appointment of the Ministers.
“No law was violated and the opposition is making negative noise,” said Minister Muswere.