By Noel Tshuma
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa in a shock move pregnant with irony has appointed former Local Government Minister Ignatiius Chombo’s ex-wife Marian as deputy Minister at the department.
Marian who divorced Chombo in a messy separation a few years ago returned to the ruling party after a brief flirtation with former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First party in the aftermath of the December 2014 purges.
She will deputise July Moyo whose wings seem to have been clipped after a new department was created leaving him to keep watch on local authorities alone.
Mangaliso Ndlovu takes over from Priscah Mupfumira who is currently out on bail awaiting trial for abuse of office and corruption charges. The Ministry will now include the departments of environment and climate previously under the Ministry of Agriculture headed by former Airforce Commander Perrance Shiri.
Sekai Nzenza who has struggled to deal with crippling strikes by junior doctors and noises from teachers as well as other civil servants has been moved from Public Service to head the Industry portfolio left vacant following Ndlovu’s re-assignment.
Her position has been taken over by Paul Mavima who moves from Primary and Secondary Education with Cain Mathema taking over.
Mnangagwa has appointed Kazembe Kazembe to take charge of the Home Affairs Ministry where he appointed senior intelligence officer Aaron Nhepera as permanent secretary early this week.
Jerifan Muswere hitherto Kazembe’s deputy has been elevated to full Ministerial position at the department of Information Technology, Postal and Currier Services.
With critics arguing the country’s Cabinet is already bloated, Mnangagwa has created a fully fledged new Ministry to take charge of housing issues to be headed by Zanu PF Murewa North MP, Daniel Garwe.
Moyo will now concentrate on Local Government only a move that could be a signal of how Mnangagwa wants something more focus given the chaos in municipalities amid water shortages and other ills.
The President has also appointed deputy Ministers at Finance and well as Foreign Affairs which previously did not have. Wedza North MP David Musabayana and his Zaka East counterpart Clemence Chiduwa are the beneficiaries of the new posts.
Other deputies include Chipinge Central lawmaker, Raymore Machingura Higher and Tertiary Education, Dingimuzi Phuti (Bulilima West) who will deputise Muswere, Yeukai Simbanegavi (National Housing), Wedza South MP, Tinoda Machakarika (Sports) and Jennifer Mhlanga (Women’s Affairs).