Mugabe appoints acting ministers

January 7, 2009 12:00 am

, HARARE, Jan 7 – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has appointed eight acting ministers days after firing a number of ministers from his ZANU-PF party who lost in the March 2008 elections, state media said on Wednesday.

Mugabe appointed Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana as the new acting minister of information and publicity, taking over from Sikhanyiso Dlovu who failed to secure a parliamentary seat in his constituency, The Herald reported.

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi is the acting minister of mines and mining development, taking over from Amos Midzi, who also lost in his constituency, said the report which quoted an official document.

Aeneas Chigwedere, Mashonaland East Governor, will continue as education, sports and culture minister while Christopher Mushohwe retains his job as acting transport and communications minister.

Non-constituency senator Patrick Chinamasa, who was erstwhile justice minister, is now acting finance minister, taking over from Samuel Mumbengegwi, who also lost in the March 2008 poll.

Mugabe, currently on annual leave, last week dismissed the executive appointments of 12 cabinet ministers and deputy ministers who failed to secure parliamentary seats.

Mugabe, 84, could form a power-sharing government at the end of next month despite a stalemate in unity talks, The Herald had reported earlier this week.

The United States last month announced that an inclusive government in Zimbabwe was not possible with Mugabe at the helm.

On December 25, Zimbabwean authorities issued prime-minister designate and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai a new passport to enable him to return home from Botswana.

Tsvangirai won a first round presidential vote in March 2008, but pulled out of a June run-off, saying the violence had left more than 100 of his supporters dead.

Zimbabwe’s three main political rivals signed an agreement in September to form an all-inclusive government aimed at ending the country’s ruinous economic meltdown.

But the formation of the government has been delayed by disagreements over the allocation of key cabinet ministries, such as the home affairs and local government.

The unity accord was meant to haul the country from political limbo and halt its economic meltdown.

Instead the country’s crisis has only worsened, with cholera epidemic killing more than 1,700 people across the country and chronic food shortages worsening.


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