President Mugabe yesterday reshuffled Cabinet, resulting in several ministers swapping portfolios and two new ones being appointed.
The restructuring claimed the scalp of former Minister of State for Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs, Cde Joel Biggie Matiza, who was moved from Government to focus on his new role as Zanu-PF chairperson for the same province.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda made the announcements yesterday at State House after President Mugabe swore in the new ministers.
The appointments were made in terms of Section 104 of the Zimbabwean Constitution (Amendment Number 20 Act of 2013).
Professor Jonathan Moyo — who was Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister — had his appointment regularised with a reassignment to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
Prof Moyo, who had been appointed from outside Parliament, had to have his appointment regularised after winning the Tsholotsho North by-election.
Labour, Public Service and Social Services Minister Prisca Mupfumira will be the Acting Minister for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.
Prof Moyo replaces Cde Oppah Muchinguri, who was transferred to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, a portfolio previously superintended over by Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.
Cde Kasukuwere is now the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, taking over from Dr Ignatius Chombo who leaves local government after 15 years to head the Home Affairs ministry.
Former Home Affairs Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi, who was in the portfolio since 2002, is now the Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office.
The Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development portfolio, which had been without a minister since last December, is now headed by Mutare South legislator Cde Nyasha Chikwinya.
It fell vacant after Minister Muchinguri was deployed to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
Marondera West National Assembly member Brigadier-General (Rtd) Ambrose Mutinhiri replaces Cde Matiza as the Minister of State for Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs.
On Cde Matiza, Dr Sibanda said: “He is now going to be full time chairman of Zanu-PF.”
Cde Matiza won the provincial elections held on Saturday.
Dr Sibanda said President Mugabe also assigned Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko responsibilities over policy coordination and implementation of Government programmes in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
“Information (ministry) for now will remain vacant and I think the appointment will be made in due course and Minister (Prisca) Mupfumira will be acting until a substantive minister has been appointed,” he said.
Prof Moyo, who recently won the Tsholotsho North by-elections had his appointment regularised and was sworn in together with Cdes Mutinhiri and Chikwinya.
He refused to speak about his recent appointment although his Twitter account was yesterday awash with congratulatory messages.
Cde Kasukuwere said his appointment showed the confidence President Mugabe had in him.
“It is a huge assignment and I will discharge my duties specifically looking at service delivery across the country starting with urban areas,” he said.
“There is no room for lawlessness and misplaced corruption where people are busy lining their pockets with rate and tax payers’ money. People have to feel that they are being cared for by the State.”
He added: “People should also have access to land and I will also ensure that we protect the wetlands. We also have to see to it that urban transport is managed properly to bring back the glory in our urban centers.”
Cde Mohadi said: “I know nothing and I am hearing that from you as I was out of the country. I am actually coming from the airport.”
An elated Cde Chikwinya expressed her gratitude to President Mugabe for the appointment.
“I am calling upon women from all walks of life with constructive ideas to come and share them so that we move to a higher level. With women of virtue on one side and Jesus on the other side we will make it.”
Cde Matiza welcomed the development saying he was ready to discharge his duties at party level.
“It’s a great idea because Mashonaland East needs full attention,” he said.
“We should have enough time to restructure and ensure that all the problems in the province are solved. It is a wise idea and come 2018, the province will have the highest number of votes.”
Minister Muchinguri could not be reached for comment as she is reportedly in Ghana while Dr Chombo was not reachable.