News / Africa

Zimbabwe's New Cabinet Filled With Old Guard

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe holds a news conference after the swearing-in of ministers at the State House in Harare, Sept. 11, 2013.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe holds a news conference after the swearing-in of ministers at the State House in Harare, Sept. 11, 2013.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's new Cabinet features many familiar faces. 

The longtime leader and his ZANU-PF party won easy victories in Zimbabwe's July 31 elections, and questions about the polls by observers and the opposition have been swept aside.

Analysts say the new government is stacked with Mugabe loyalists and could signal a return to hardline policies that have earned the Zimbabwean president strong criticism in the past.

Mugabe says the Cabinet is full of “young blood” but there is no one under the age of 40 in the new team and most have held positions in previous Mugabe governments. 

One daily newspaper summed it up by saying, “Mugabe Recycles Old Guard.”

In remarks to his new aides, the 89-year-old president urged them to focus on Zimbabwe's economy, and to carry out his policies.

“We are trying to do our best ...We should look at our people first...People are unemployed," he said. "We have to try and correct that. The work demands that you perform. We want to see indigenization done.”

Mugabe said indigenization, a policy of seizing majority stakes of foreign-owned firms, would form the basis of Zimbabwe’s recovery, along with a focus on mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Critics of the policy said it discourages foreign investment.

Independent political and business analyst Tjenesani Ntungakwa said the Cabinet appointments suggest Mugabe plans to rule with an iron fist again.

"I see an old hardliner ZANU-PF resurfacing in the form of what has happened in the ministry of information, the likes of Jonathan Moyo for instance," he said.

In 2002 Jonathan Moyo, the country’s information minister, crafted tough media laws that resulted in a crackdown on journalists in Zimbabwe and shut down the country's independent media.

Freelance journalist Annahstancia Ndlovu said it was not the appointment of Moyo that disappointed her.

"On the issue of women, President Mugabe appointed three women in his Cabinet," she said. "As women, we feel that we did not [get a] vote. We have no representation."

On Wednesday, Mugabe said Zimbabwean women had performed badly in the July 31 elections. The president had to choose his ministers from members of parliament, which is now overwhelmingly controlled by ZANU-PF.

There are no members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the Cabinet, a marked change from the past four years when the MDC and ZANU-PF shared power in a lasting, if contentious, government.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid