Zimbabwe's Mugabe appoints allies for unity cabinet

Zimbabwean President has appointed party loyalists from a previous cabinet he described as the "worst in history" to a unity government with Tsvangirai's MDC.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe appoints allies for unity cabinet
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has appointed party loyalists from a previous cabinet he described as the "worst in history" to a unity government with Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC.

Cabinet members from both parties will be sworn in on Friday and will need to bury years of animosity to rebuild the southern African country's shattered economy, which is struggling with the world's highest inflation rate.

Analysts are worried that both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have appointed party loyalists and allies rather than technocrats better qualified to implement the radical reforms needed to head off total economic collapse.

The two leaders agreed last September to share power, but the deal stalled for months as they haggled over the allocation of cabinet posts, stirring doubts over whether the old foes can work together to bring in foreign aid and investment.

They agreed to implement the accord under pressure from regional leaders at the end of last month and Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister on Wednesday.

A cabinet list released by Mugabe's officials late on Thursday includes former defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, former state security boss Didymus Mutasa and Emmerson Mnangagwa, touted as a potential successor to Mugabe, 84.

Some of the ZANU-PF members in the new cabinet have held ministerial posts since independence in 1980, when Mugabe came to power.

Mugabe, whose party lost its parliamentary majority in a March election, in August called the previous cabinet the "worst in history", adding that the ministers were unreliable.

"Mugabe's list of 15 cabinet ministers will contain a small forest of dead wood," the private weekly Zimbabwe Independent said on Friday. "The appointment of ministers who were in the last cabinet dissolved last February would be a serious indictment of Mugabe."

Foreign investors and Western donors have made clear the provision of funds will be contingent on democratic and economic reforms, such as reversing the nationalisation policies implemented by Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

ZANU-PF will have 15 members in the cabinet, Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) 14, and a splinter MDC group will hold three posts.

The ministers will be sworn in at 1100 GMT.

Tsvangirai, who took office on Thursday, has nominated party secretary general Tendai Biti to the post of finance minister with the challenging task of reviving the economy.

Reuters
Last Mod: 13 Şubat 2009, 10:49
Add Comment