Harare – President Robert Mugabe reshuffled his cabinet on Monday evening.
Well, not entirely. He lost the post of justice minister, which he held alongside the vice presidency.
Mnangagwa heads a faction of the ruling party vying to take over from President Robert Mugabe once he steps down or dies in office. This will be seen as a way to clip his wings.
There had been speculation that Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo would “bounce back” to the information ministry, to use a popular phrase from state media. As a former propagandist and architect of Zimbabwe’s strict press laws, he has shown he’s got Mugabe’s back in matters regarding information.
But the post went to another Moyo – the less ascerbic Simon Khaya-Moyo, who is also the ruling party’s spokesperson.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was replaced by Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is also the ruling party’s secretary for administration. Observers are already wondering what his appointment will do to the value of Zimbabwe’s bond note currency, already dropping on the black market.
Chinamasa was given an entirely new, obscure post of Cyber Security Minister. Commented Zimbabwean comedian Carl Joshua Ncube: “Patrick Chinamasa is now following you on TWITTER”.
Patrick Zhuwao is seen as a key supporter of the G40 faction aligned to First Lady Grace Mugabe.
In Monday’s reshuffle, Mugabe made him Labour Minister. Previously he’d been at the helm of the Youth and Indigenisation ministry.
His promotion is likely to be seen as further evidence that these changes to cabinet are about shoring up the ruling party’s G40 faction over Mnangagwa’s Lacoste grouping.