Mnangagwa swears in cabinet

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Monday, presided over the swearing in of cabinet ministers and ministers of state at the State House in Harare.

This is Mnangagwa`s second cabinet after taking over the reins of both the state and ruling party, Zanu PF, following the military intervention in November last year which led to former president Robert Mugabe resigning.

Mnangagwa then named a largely uninspiring cabinet which featured mostly those who had served under Mugabe`s government.

Under pressure to revive the economy, President Mnangagwa last week named a largely changed cabinet featuring some technocrats, women and youths, with the bulk of them being first time appointees.

The first minister to sign his appointment papers was the incoming Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, whose appointment excited a section of the population considering his vast experience in the financial sector.

Prof Ncube has already hinted that he will be introduced radical reforms within the finance sector, including removing the bond notes.

“I am very clear that there have to be currency reforms and the (current) currency approach is not working,” he was quoted in weekly local publication.

“In doing so, there are three choices that I will explore and pursue with urgency: One, adopt the US dollar only and remove the bond notes from circulation through a demonetisation process and also liberalise exchange controls.

“Two, adopt the rand by negotiating to join the Rand Monetary Area, and this will close the gap in loss of competitiveness against our largest trading partner, South Africa.

The other incoming minister who received the loudest cheers was Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry.

While her profile as a sports personality is pleasing, having won various accolades at the Olympics, she comes into a ministry that has many challenges and she would need to work hard to turn around the fortunes of some of the sectors under her responsibility, including most sporting disciplines and the state of the arts sector.

The twenty cabinet ministers were also joined by their deputies, ministers of state for provincial affairs and two minister of state in the Vice Presidents offices.

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