President Ian Khama’s fierce critic in Zimbabwe, Professor Jonathan Moyo has returned to his previous portfolio as Minister for Information in President Robert Mugabe’s latest cabinet reshuffle.
Mugabe unveiled his long-awaited Cabinet on Tuesday, disappointing many of those who were hoping for change. Former Lands Minister Herbert Murerwa was the only casualty as Mugabe rotated his ministers and named new but experienced hands, while reducing the Cabinet from 33 to 26. Prof Moyo, expelled from Zanu PF in 2005 before rejoining the party in 2008, bounced back in his old portfolio. He will be deputised by ZiFM Stereo boss, Supa Mandiwanzira. As Informaton Minister, Moyo was instrumental in defending Mugabe’s government against criticism from the west. Khama fell on Moyo’s radar when he criticised the 2009 election in Zimbabwe.
In 2004, Moyo complained that flogging Zimbabweans in customary courts was “humiliating.” When Botswana deported a Zimbabwean journalist and media lecturer, Ceazar Zvayi warned Botswana that the move could cause untold damage to relations between the two countries.
Moyo said: “When a country has more goats than people, it suffers a serious leadership deficiency as is happening in Botswana where a primitive and intolerant military junta is masquerading as a democracy. “They cannot hide the obvious fact that their unlawful deportation of Zvayi who was in fact in that country legally with a work permit, not as a journalist but as a college lecturer, has been done simply to please George Bush’s criminal administration that put Zvayi on its illegal sanctions list against Zimbabwe.
Moyo lost his parliamentary seat in Tsholotsho North in the July 31 general election, but Mugabe still found space for him along with Joseph Made, who lost in the Zanu PF primaries but has been returned to Agriculture.
Made and Moyo were among Mugabe’s allocation of five non-constituency MPs, with three other slots going to Martin Dinha (Minister of State for Provincial Affairs – Mashonaland Central), Faber Chidarikire (Minister of State for Provincial Affairs - Mashonaland East) and Lazarus Dokora (Minister of Education). Mugabe named former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in Finance, while moving Obert Mpofu from Mines to Transport and Saviour Kasukuwere from Indigenisation to Water Resources and Environment.
Francis Nhema, previously at Environment, becomes the new Indigenisation Minister while Walter Chidhakwa replaces Mpofu at Mines. Defence went to Sydney Sekeramayi as Emmerson Mnangagwa was shifted to Justice. Dokora, who deputised David Coltart in the last government, takes over Education which has been split. The Sport and Culture element is now a full ministry, which went to Insiza North MP Andrew Langa.Ignatius Chombo was retained in Local Government while Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was again entrusted with Foreign Affairs. Only three women were named ministers – Oppah Muchinguri (Women’s Affairs), Olivia Muchena (Higher and Tertiary Education) and Sithembiso Nyoni (Small and Medium Enterprises).
State Security, under which the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) fell, was dismantled, but it was not immediately clear which Ministry would take over the department. Nicholas Goche, who previously held the portfolio, was deployed in Labour. The surprise appointment was Dzikamai Mavhaire, who takes over the key Energy and Power Development Ministry. He will have his in-tray full as the country experiences serious power outages. (The Zimbabwean. Additional reporting by Botswana Guardian).