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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora