Former Zanu PF MP tells Mugabe to trim Cabinet

“Mugabe was chosen to lead this country, whether you want or don’t want.”
(File Photo): President Robert Mugabe

FORMER Chivi South MP Ivene Dzingirai has called on President Robert Mugabe to trim his bloated Cabinet which he described as duplicating roles and a burden to the fiscus.

By Tatenda Chitagu

Mugabe’s Cabinet has 25 ministries, four Ministers of State, 10 Provincial Affairs ministers and 24 deputy ministers whose perks are borne by the taxpayer.

Addressing journalists in Masvingo over the weekend, Dzingirai, a former Zanu PF MP, said under the current economic environment where the government was struggling to pay its workforce on time, some complimentary ministries should be combined to reduce costs.

“At this juncture, we cannot afford to have so many ministries, some that are duplicates,” he said.

“I think the President should trim and combine some of the ministries which are related. It is really costly to the economy which is comatose.”

Dzingirai proposed that the Defence and State Securities ministries should be combined while the Mines and Energy ministries should be merged. He said the Lands and Agriculture ministries would be more effective if they were under one minister.

“The Youth, Women Affairs, Gender and National Empowerment should be three in one while the War Veterans’ ministry should be scrapped and combined with Labour to read, Pensions, Labour and Social Welfare,” he said.

“Some of the ministries do almost the same things and it’s not necessary for now.”

Asked if it was not a case of sour grapes now that he was out of Parliament, Dzingirai said he was just being practical.

“I am not saying this because I am out of the government. I was not a minister, but it is just reacting to the economic realities of the day,” he said.

“I did not say it during my tenure because things were a bit stable and the economy was performing. The big Cabinet can be restored if things normalise, but not for now,” he said.

Dzingirai lost his seat to Charles Utete in the 2013 Zanu PF primary elections.

Analysts contend that Mugabe appointed a bloated Cabinet in order to accommodate his cronies under the intricate Zanu PF patronage system by creating “jobs for the boys”.