Home » Governance » President Swears in VPs, Ministers

President Mugabe yesterday swore in the new Vice Presidents Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, eight ministers and a deputy minister, with the appointees pledging to serve the nation and successfully implement Government programmes.

Those sworn in included Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Oppah Muchinguri Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Priscah Mupfumira Information Communication Technology and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Christopher Mushohwe Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province Joel Biggie Matiza Minister of State for Manicaland Province Mandi Chimene and Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development Tsitsi Muzenda.

Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Cde Monica Mutsvangwa failed to attend the swearing in ceremony.

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The new Vice Presidents and ministers filled posts that fell vacant following the firing of Vice President Joice Mujuru and the death of VP John Landa Nkomo and eight ministers who were sacked for plotting to topple President Mugabe.

The Vice Presidents and the new ministers were sworn in and took their oaths of loyalty before President Mugabe at a ceremony attended by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, their families, several Cabinet ministers and Zanu-PF supporters.

Speaking in an interview after the ceremony, VP Mnangagwa said his new appointment brought added responsibility to serve the nation.

“I am happy to be the new Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe which means I am now a bigger servant of the people than before,” he said.

He chronicled his rise to the latest position saying, “from a ‘terrorist’, a condemned prisoner to the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.”

VP Mnangagwa will continue in his portfolio as Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

VP Mphoko said his vast experience in the intelligence and as a diplomat would be helpful in the promotion of national healing and reconciliation.

He said the fact that he had not been in Cabinet since independence was not a handicap as he would be guided by both President Mugabe and VP Mnangagwa.

“It is an honour to be appointed Vice President but it is also a challenge. The experience that I have is going to be helpful in the execution of my assignment as the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The President is my torch, I don’t have the command myself, but the command comes from the Head of State,” said Cde Mphoko.

He said he was grateful that he would be working with Cde Mnangagwa who had a similar history as a freedom fighter and in the intelligence during the liberation struggle.

Minister Mushohwe said his priority would be the empowerment of the youths.

“When you look at the ministry, it deals with youths, it deals with empowerment and indigenisation. I think the question is, are the youth being empowered, are Zimbabweans being empowered?

“It is these things that we must be looking at. If we talk of empowerment the greater society of our people must really benefit, we need to take stoke of who is being empowered. We cannot talk of empowerment when a few people are being empowered or an elitist are being empowered,” Minister Mushohwe said.

Minister Mushohwe said he would strive to ensure that youths were given requisite skills that would ensure that they used whatever funds or resources given to them properly.

“In my view we need to say when we talk of empowering youths what kind of empowerment are we talking about? I believe that the most empowerment that can be given to the youths is to make sure that they are trained, they have the requisite experience before we dish out money because they have to be productive,” he said.

He added that he would prioritise the empowerment of college and university graduates, most of whom were unemployed and were roaming the streets.

“Which youths are being empowered if thousands and thousands of youths graduating from universities and colleges are roaming the streets? This is one area that needs to be looked at,” he said.

Minister Udenge said his first priority was to acquaint himself with the challenges in terms of the provision of electricity to industry and households.

“My mandate is to get to know the challenges facing the nation in terms of service provision and ensure that we address shortage of electricity to industry and at household level.

“We also want to address some of the issues that went wrong during the tenure of those that were there before me,” he said.

Former Minister of Energy and Power Development Cde Mavhaire and his deputy Cde Munacho Mutezo were fired for among other reasons drawing money from Zesa Holdings to fund their factional interests meant to topple President Mugabe.

Minister Mupfumira said she would work hard to ensure that Zim Asset was a success.

“I will work hard in the ministry, look at what is there and how we can move forward to ensure the success of the Zim Asset,” she said.

Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Muzenda said she would promote rural electrification, among others issues.

“I feel happy and excited to have been appointed deputy minister. As usual, we do what is expected of us by the electorate.

“I am aware of the shortage of electricity in the SADC region, but there is need to ensure the rural electrification continues. The programme should be at the fore-front so that we can economically empower the rural people,” she said.

Minister Mandiwanzira paid tribute to President Mugabe for his appointment.

The appointment comes barely a year after he was given the post of Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.

“I am where I am because I have gone through various hands. There are people who have moulded me to be where I am to be seen by the President as a competent cadre. I place a lot of gratitude on Professor Jonathan Moyo who was my Minister, I learnt a lot from him and what I learnt I am going to take it to my new ministry,” Cde Mandiwanzira said.

“I am committed to ensuring that I do my best to deliver in this key sector of the economy. I am yet to get a full briefing on what has been going on in the ministry. I am going to work immediately to ensure we deliver on the promise we have made to the electorate, to the people and Zanu-PF supporters at Congress.”

Minister Chimene said that Manicaland should be congratulated for having a dedicated leader who was prepared to work tirelessly with them.

“Government has been indebted by people who have been failing to deliver results but with me now, I am a results based person.

“I promise my people that I’ll be working with them on the ground. However, I cannot bring development into my province alone, I will work with the people,” she said.

“I’m coming with a punch and I’ll prove to the people that the President did not make a mistake because I will not entertain nonsense.

“As a member of the Central Committee, I’ll work with people from the party to stem factionalism. It is our duty as leaders to unite the people and explain to them what has been going on.

“No-one can entertain corruption especially under my authority handina favour, handitengeke! I do not favour and I cannot be bought. Anyone who has been doing it should brace themselves for tough times, they should be prepared,” Minister Chimene said.

The new Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Oppah Muchinguri, said she was geared to ensure that Zimbabwe maintained its top position in Africa in the provision of quality education.

She said there was need to channel more resources towards the education sector to cater for the increased population.

“True, the problems are there but you need also to appreciate that when populations grow, we were 4 million when we attained independence and now we are around 14 million. So as we grow, challenges also grow. I want to compare our situation with that of United States where once you get to 18 years, you are on your own you have to work to pay for school fees. I know our economies are different but you need to understand that we need to inculcate a business culture within our society, our education system must focus now on Zim Asset so that we address the challenges that are there,” said Cde Muchinguri.

The minister said she would execute her new mandate to the best of her ability in the same way that she did in her previous Ministry of Womens Affairs, Gender and Community Development where she pushed for the establishment of the Women’s Fund and the Gender Commission, and several other projects that benefit women.

Source : The Herald