Mugabe's looming Cabinet reshuffle a 'bedroom affair' – opposition

The world's oldest head of state rarely changes his Cabinet. (Reuters)

The world's oldest head of state rarely changes his Cabinet. (Reuters)

President Robert Mugabe’s forthcoming Cabinet shake up has been described as a “bedroom” affair meant to prepare his controversial wife for a takeover by axing those opposed to her, says a report.

The Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party says that instead of a Cabinet reshuffle, the veteran leader should just step aside and “save the country from 37 years of bondage,” reports NewZimbabwe.com.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu added that the reshuffle was “a joke that isn’t funny”.

He also called on the veteran leader to step down as he was “simply the biggest stumbling block to Zimbabwe’s long overdue social-economic and political regeneration”.

The spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Kurauone Chihwayi, said that President Mugabe’s administration was packed with “lazy, corrupt and incompetent people”.

He said: “In my view it is clear that this is Mugabe’s bedroom reshuffle meant to crush those opposed to his wife, this has nothing to do with performance but more to do with factional wars in the ruling party.”

According to reports, President Mugabe told a Zanu-PF youth gathering that he was likely going to reshuffle his Cabinet this week as criticism intensifies around a deputy long viewed as his successor.

Poisoning claims

The world’s oldest head of state rarely changes his Cabinet. But, media speculation was that the focus was on one of Zimbabwe’s vice presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa, accused of leading a faction angling for power.

Mnangagwa had been a close Mugabe ally since the 1970s war of independence from white minority rule. But Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, on Thursday described him as “nothing.”

Mnangagwa was appointed in 2014 after the veteran leader fired his longest-serving deputy Joice Mujuru on charges of plotting to oust him.

Reports have suggested that Mnangagwa was battling nearly similar accusations as his co-Vice President Phekezela Mphoko accused him of undermining the president’s authority by alleging he was poisoned at a political rally in August.

In a statement, Mphoko alleged that Mnangagwa was also using his poisoning scare to cause tribal divisions for political expedience within the ruling Zanu-PF party.

He added that Mnangagwa’s claim was a “calculated” challenge to President Mugabe’s “public account that Mnangagwa’s medical doctor ruled out poisoning” as the cause of his “traumatising vomiting and diarrhoea” at the August 12 rally.

This reportedly came after Mnangagwa’s loyalists accused his “Generation 40” rivals within the ruling Zanu-PF party of poisoning him in a bid to physically eliminate him from the race to succeed Mugabe, 93.

Last month, Mnangagwa issued a statement denying reports that he had eaten ice-cream from the Mugabe-owned Gushungo Dairies when he fell ill at the Gwanda rally, but did not say anything at the time regarding his alleged poisoning.

Mnangagwa, who reportedly leads a faction calling itself “Team Lacoste”, is battling against “Generation 40” to take over power from Mugabe when the nonagenarian dies or leaves office.

The Generation 40 group is beileved to be backing Grace Mugabe.
News24

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