Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa drops education minister after public outcry

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa officiates at a university graduation ceremony in Chinhoyi, near Harare, Zimbabwe, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Zimbabwean
President Emmerson Mnangagwa officiates at a university
graduation ceremony in Chinhoyi, near Harare

Thomson Reuters

(Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa dropped
his education minister, a day after reappointing him to a cabinet
which gave top posts to senior military officials in what was
widely seen as a reward for the army’s role in the removal of his
predecessor, Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa made other changes to the cabinet that his chief
secretary Misheck Sibanda called “adjustments to ensure
compliance with the Constitution and considerations of gender,
demography and special needs”.

Under the Zimbabwean constitution, ministers and their deputies
have to be members of parliament, except five who can be chosen
for their professional skills and competence. Mnangagwa had named
as ministers seven people, including Major-General Sibusiso Moyo
as foreign minister and Marshall Perrance Shiri to the sensitive
land portfolio, who are not lawmakers.

He replaced primary and higher education minister Lazaraus Dokora
with his deputy Paul Mavima. Dokora’s reappointment had caused an
outcry from Zimbabweans on social media and radio shows who
slammed him for poor performance and undermining the country’s
education system.

He also named ZANU-PF lawmaker Petronella Kagonye to the labor
and social welfare portfolio, replacing university professor
Clever Nyathi who was appointed special advisor in the
president’s office on national peace and reconciliation.

Chris Mutsvanga, leader of the powerful war veterans’ association
and who was named media, information and broadcast minister, has
also been appointed special advisor to the president.

Sworn in as president last Friday after 93-year-old Mugabe quit
in the wake of a de facto military coup, Mnangagwa’s cabinet drew
criticisms from analysts and Zimbabweans who had expected a more
broad-based lineup that marked a break from the Mugabe era.

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(Reporting by Emelia Sithole-Matarise; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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