What you need to know about the February 2021 Cabinet appointees in Zimbabwe

2018 Cabinet of Zimbabwe

The Cabinet of Zimbabwe is the executive body that forms the Government of Zimbabwe together with the President of Zimbabwe. The Cabinet is composed of the President, the Vice-Presidents, and ministers appointed by the President. Until 1987, the Cabinet was chaired by the Prime Minister; it is now headed by the President.

Selection

The President appoints two vice Presidents, ministers, and deputy ministers; and may dismiss them. The President also assigns their powers and functions, including the administration of any Act of Parliament or of any Ministry or department, but the President may reserve to himself or herself the administration of an Act, Ministry or department. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are appointed from among Senators or Members of the National Assembly, but up to five, chosen for their professional skills and competence, may be appointed from outside Parliament.

Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are not Members of Parliament may sit and speak, but not vote, in the Senate or the National Assembly. A member of the Cabinet is appointed by the President to be the leader of government business in the National Assembly.

Background

President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UN Dr Frederick Shava as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade while Chikomba Central legislator Felix Mhona takes over the Transport and Infrastructure Development portfolio.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda confirmed the appointments on 8 February 2021 saying they were done in terms of Sections 100 (1) and (2) of the Constitution.

The appointments were meant to fill the gaps left by the deaths of national heroes, former Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joel Biggie Matiza.

The President also re-assigned Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Mike Madiro to the Ministry Transport and Infrastructural Development while Makonde legislator Kindness Paradza became the new Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. He took over from former Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi.

Beitbridge West MP Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi became the new Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. Nokuthula Matsikenyere, MP for Chimanimani West became the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in charge of Manicaland taking over from the late national heroine Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba.[1]

Individual Biographies

Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava

His Excellency Frederick Shava was elected seventy-second President of the Economic and Social Council on 28 July 2016. Ambassador Shava was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the United Nations in New York before his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 8 February 2021.

Until his appointment in 2014, he was Ambassador to China since 2007. From 2003 to 2004, Ambassador Shava was a consultant on Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary reform. As an elected official, he was Minister of State for Political Affairs in 1987 and Minister of Labour, Manpower Planning and Development from 1981 to 1986. Mr. Shava holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Philosophy in parasitology from Royal Holloway College; a Master of Science in nematology from Imperial College; and a Bachelor of Science in biology from University of Zimbabwe.[2]

The appointment of Dr. Shava will take effect upon issuance of an appropriate Gazette as senator for the Midlands Province. His wealth of experience in diplomacy is expected to drive the ministry to new heights.

Shava resigned from his ministerial position in the 1980s after he was cited by the Justice Sandura Commission as among several ministers, who were engaged in shady vehicle deals in what became known as the Willowgate Scandal. Government officials were buying cars at Willowvale Motor Industries and re-selling them at high prices to individuals and companies.

Some of the ministers who were involved included the late Political Affairs Minister Maurice Nyagumbo, the late Home Affairs Minister Enos Nkala, the late Industry Minister Callistus Ndlovu and several others.[3]

Felix Mhona

Felix Mhona has been a legislator for Chikomba Central since 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Marketing degree from the Zimbabwe Open University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of South Africa. Before his appointment as the new Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development on 8 February 2021, he was the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development.

Kindness Paradza

Kindness Paradza who was appointed the Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services on 8 February 2021 is a journalist by training. He has been a Zanu PF legislator since 2003 and holds several diplomas in journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree from Berlin Free University in Germany. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Cambria in the UK.

He has vast experience in journalism having worked for various media houses in the country and once served as the president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. He is the chairperson of the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Nokuthula Matsikenyere

Nokuthula Matsikenyere who was appointed Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Manicaland Province on 8 February 2021 is a teacher by profession and was first elected into Parliament in 2016 and has been an MP since then. She has held various positions in Zanu PF Youth and Women’s leagues since 1980 and holds a diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Development from the University of Zimbabwe.

Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi

Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi who was appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on 8 February 2021 holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Masters degrees in Public Administration and International Relations.

She joined politics in the 1970s as a Zapu youth league member before serving with the Zipra forces between 1977 and 1979. She was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army in 1980 and retired in 1988. She has been a legislator since 2013.[4]

Mike Madiro

Mike Madiro was the Manicaland Zanu PF provincial chairperson and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage before his reassignment to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development on 8 February 2021. He came under fire after he failed to deliver a successful election result for President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was beaten by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in the province during the 30 July 2018 national elections.




References

  1. [1], The Office of the President and Cabinet, Published: 8 February, 2021, Accessed: 10 February, 2021
  2. [2], United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Accessed: 10 February, 2021
  3. Gibbs Dube, [3], VOA Zimbabwe, Published: 9 February, 2021, Accessed: 10 February, 2021
  4. [4], The Herald, Published: 9 February, 2021, Accessed: 10 February, 2021