Home » Governance » Mugabe Reserves Ministry for Wife?

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe might have kept a ministerial post open in order to accommodate his increasingly powerful wife, it emerged Friday.

Mugabe made new appointments to his Cabinet after sacking of former vice president Joice Mujuru and ministers said to have been working with her in an alleged bid to topple the 90-year-old president.

Ex-women’s affairs minister Oppah Muchinguri was moved to higher education with her former portfolio remaining vacant.

And, in another gaffe by the ageing leader, the ailing Victoria Chitepo, widow of Zanu’s wartime chairman Herbert Chitepo, was named women’s affairs minister.

The “appointment”, revealed in a statement signed by secretary to the president and cabinet Misheck Sibanda, was then cancelled “because it was a mistake”, according to officials.

The position was then left vacant when Mugabe named his new ministers with speculation rife that he would appoint his wife Grace to the job once accommodation was found for her in either the Senate or the House of Assembly.

Muchinguri, who relinquished her party position as Zanu PF Women’s League boss to the First Lady, said she would not be surprised if Grace’s cabinet appointment came through.

“It is up to the president,” said the higher education minister.

“I wore two hats, as was secretary for women’s affairs in the league as well as minister in government for the same portfolio. I would not be surprised and if it happens (Grace is appointed) in fact, if it happened that way, the better.

“One needs to carry the portfolio from the party through to government and, in fact, we would need to have the patron of all the country’s women (the First Lady) heading the same at cabinet level to make sure things move smoothly.

“She (Grace) would be able to deal with issues affecting women easily and at the moment she needs our prayers actually.”

Grace and Oppah led the campaign which scandalised the disgraced Mujuru before she was booted out as party and State vice president.

The First Lady has become very influential in both the ruling party and the government as her husband is increasingly slowed down by age and poor health.

Source : New Zimbabwe