Tsvangirai names his cabinet team

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 February 2009

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday named his cabinet team that will join Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party in a unity government.

The MDC leader who is due to be sworn in on Wednesday as Prime Minister made the announcement at a press conference in Harare. His deputy, Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, leader of the MDC formation, will also be sworn in Wednesday.

Tendai Biti, the party’s secretary general and chief negotiator, was named Finance Minister. The contentious Home Affairs portfolio that will be co-shared by ZANU PF has been given to Dangamvura and Chikanga MP in Mutare, Giles Mutsekwa. Tsvangirai told journalists that the Home Affairs Ministry required ‘a strong individual to ensure that it enhances the freedoms of Zimbabweans and proper administration of the citizen’s charter.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa, said the MDC leader described the new team of cabinet members from his party as ‘men and women chosen for their vision of healing the nation.’ Tsvangirai said ‘the team will not only bring the spirit of hope to the people of Zimbabwe but also their significant technical skills in the challenging task of restoring political freedoms.’

‘This team will be tasked with beginning the process of rebuilding our country during the transition period,’ Tsvangirai added.

Pro-democracy lawyer Advocate Eric Matingenga was named the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, while firebrand party spokesman Nelson Chamisa will head the Information and Communications Technology Ministry.

Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro will head the Public Service Ministry, while his former University of Zimbabwe counterpart, Professor Henry Dzinotyiwei, is the new Minister for Science and Technology Development.

Former Harare Mayor Engineer Elias Mudzuri will lead the Energy and Power Development Ministry, while Bulawayo businessman and MP Eddie Cross will take charge of the State Enterprise and Parastatals Ministry.

Kwekwe medical practitioner Dr Henry Madzorera has been tasked with reviving the Health Ministry. The MDC women’s assembly chairperson Theresa Makone will head the Public Works Ministry while another female MP, Paurine Mpariwa, will lead the Social Welfare Ministry.

Abednigo Bhebhe from the MDC-M was surprisingly nominated by Tsvangirai to take charge of Water Resources Development. Elton Mangoma, another party negotiator to the talks, will be the Economic Planning and Investment Minister.

The popular treasurer general of the party, Roy Bennett, who recently returned to Zimbabwe after three years in exile in South Africa, was named Deputy Minister of Agriculture. Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa, a former Zimbabwe National Army surgeon, will be the Deputy Minister of Defence, while Harare lawyer Jessie Majome will be the Deputy Minister of Justice. The other three Deputy Ministers to fill the Foreign Affairs, Local government and Women’s Affairs portfolios will be announced after further consultations between Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

The two leaders were due to meet this afternoon to finalise the list of provincial governors and the new structure of the country’s security institutions. Mugabe was locked for most parts of the morning in a marathon meeting with his service chiefs.


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