Tsvangirai Fires Energy Minister Mudzuri And Others

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai At the Press Conference today when he fired Energy Minister Elias Mudzuri and shifted some deck chairs on the Titanic Government.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 23 June 2010

Clearly, the knives are now out for those said to be plotting against Morgan Tsvangirai's Life Presidency of the MDC that carries his surname.

The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe has fired one of the two heavyweights against him in the party. Elias Mudzuri, the Minister of Energy, is now no Minister at all, "redeployed to the party", according to Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tendai Biti the PM left alone. This is basically a shot across the bow for the Finance Minister. Now he knows Tsvangirai means to be elected president at the next Congress and still has power to destroy careers for the leaders of the MDC-T.

Indeed, the tone of the press conference left no doubt at all that the Prime Minister had said he was firing Mudzuri for incompetence.

Mudzuri also suffered for what Tsvangirai considered bad judgment on his party when he announced to the nation that he had ordered power cuts to be suspended during the World Cup. Only to be called names in public after, on the very first day of the World Cup 2010 tournament in South Africa, huge chunks of residential areas were promptly switched off by ZESA.

Fidelis Mhashu, who was hit on the head by robbers in South Africa a while back, has also been sent out to pasture. Mhashu headed the utterly pointless Ministry of Rural Housing and Social Amenities. His place as Minister in Charge of Mud Huts and Public Toilets will be taken by the clearly demoted Giles Mutsekwa, formerly co-Minister of Home Affairs. We thought Tsvangirai said Mutsekwa was working "fantastically well" with ZANU PF just last April?

Tsvangirai blames him for the open rebellion of the Chitungwiza structures. Mhashu, by the way, is also the National Executive Council member for Chitungwiza in the MDC with a surname.

Gift Chimanikire is rewarded for crossing the floor back from the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara and is now w Deputy Minister in Charge of Mines and Mining Development. I expect ZANU PF will, like they did with his predecessor in the post, Murisi Zvizvai, soon run circles around him, his head spinning so fast he will start to sing the ZANU PF songs and shout "Pamberi na Mugabe!" (Forward With Mugabe).

Obert Gutu, a Tsvangirai favourite and a senator in the bloated twin-chambered Legislature of Zimbabwe.

Thamasanga Mhalangu, the Deputy Minister of Youth to Saviour Kasukwere, fast-becoming a heavyweight who toyed with the Deputy Minister as though he just but a ragged doll.

You will recall that Mhalangu was hauled before the courts by JosephChinotimba (he who farms baked beans) and accused of having stolen the War Veterans leader cellphone. Mhalangu deferentially to see Saviour Kasukwere, the Minister of Youth and his superior and beg him to talk to Chinotimba to drop the charges and show kindness.

The Deputy Minister was eventually acquitted, but the damage had been done.

So, poof! He is no Deputy Minister now. Fired.

The rest of it was simply the moving of deck chairs on the Titanic called the Inclusive Government, scheduled to sink sometime in May 2011.

Elton Mangoma, a Tsvangirai confidant and trusted one, takes the fired Mudzuri's place as Minister of Energy. Lets see if he can give us more electricity than we had been getting from this MDC-T ministry so far. Bets on how long before he starts issuing "orders" for people not to pay their electricity bills while at the same time promising even more electricity.

Teresa Makone, wife of the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, is now co-Minister of Home Affairs. Lets see if she will be able to see any warrants for the arrest of her supporters before they are executed.

Gorden Moyo, formerly a Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office will now be a proper and full Minister of State Enterprises. Lets see how he manages, if at all.

His place, rather predictably, goes to Jamieson Timba, former Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity. He is a Tsvangirai fan through and through, and an Advisor to the Prime Minister at both government and party level.

Timba will now be Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office.

Zvizvai, his head spinning from the circles run around him during his tenure at the Mines Ministry, has now been thrown into the Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity and Information. It would be good to hear journalists say what this says about Tsvangirai's approach to the ongoing Media Reform process.

Jesse Majome has also been demoted, from being Deputy at the Justice Ministry to being Deputy at the Women's Affairs portfolio. Everyone knows that that this Ministry is a ZANU PF Ministry and all she can do really once she gets there is sit in a corner and keep quiet. That is how it will be.

Despite the PM saying that this reshuffle and the firings were done for the national interest, the truth of the matter is that the Prime Minister is simply using his power of patronage to reward and punish. He is settling internal MDC-T discord by flexing his governmental muscles.

Here is his statement to the press in full:

Statement by Morgan Tsvangirai, via MDC Press Release:

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here today to announce a ministerial reshuffle. This reshuffle is about the MDC delivering to the people of Zimbabwe what they are looking for – real change.

Over the past 16 months, we have recorded definite success in certain areas.

  • We have brought sanity and stability to the economy.
  • We have revived the health sector, which had all but collapsed.
  • We have got the schools back up and running, and textbooks distributed.
  • We now have independent daily newspapers registered to operate.
  • Basic services such as sewerage reticulation, refuse collection and water provision have been restored in many areas.

However, we still have many challenges; and these frankly overshadow our successes to-date.

  • The pace of reform has been painfully slow
  • Abuses of power are still all too common
  • Many people are still struggling to make a living wage, and provide for their families.
  • Infrastructure rehabilitation and energy supply continue to inhibit development.

I am acutely aware that these and other challenges have led to a loss of confidence in the new administration amongst the electorate. In response to this, as Prime Minister and President of the MDC, I have just completed a comprehensive review of the performance of the Government, and in particular of my Office and those Ministers who represent the MDC.

As a result, I have decided on a number of changes needed to strengthen the performance of the MDC in government and outside government, in order to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe. These changes, are being made with immediate effect, and the new ministers will be sworn in tomorrow, Thursday 24th June.

The changes that are being implemented are as follows:

The following Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers are being redeployed within the Party to strengthen and add momentum to Party programmes:

  • Elias Mudzuri, formerly Minister of Energy and Power Development, and the Party’s National Organiser
  • Fidelis Mhashu, formerly Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, and the Party’s National Executive Member for Chitungwiza
  • Evelyn Masaiti, formerly Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender & Community Development, and the Party’s Secretary of the Women’s Assembly
  • Thamasanqa Mhalangu, formerly Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation & Empowerment, and the Party’s National Youth Chairperson.

The following will become Cabinet Ministers:

  • Jameson Timba, formerly Deputy Minister of Media, Information & Publicity, will become Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office
  • Tapiwa Mashakada, will become Minister of Economic Planning & Investment Promotion

The following will become Deputy Ministers:

  • Gift Chimanikire will become Deputy Minister of Mines & Mining Development
  • Obert Gutu will become Deputy Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs.
  • Tongai Matutu will become Deputy Minister of Youth, Indigenisation & Empowerment

The following Cabinet Ministers will change portfolios, as follows:

  • Elton Mangoma formerly Minister of Economic Planning & Investment Promotion, will become Minister of Energy & Power Development
  • Theresa Makone, formerly Minister of Public Works, will become Minister of Home Affairs
  • Giles Mutsekwa, formerly Minister of Home Affairs, will become co-Minister of Housing & Social Amenities
  • Gorden Moyo, formerly Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, will become Minister of State Enterprises & Parastatals
  • Joel Gabuza, formerly Minister of State Enterprises & Parastatals, will become Minister of Public Works
  • The following Deputy Ministers will change portfolios, as follows:
  • Murisi Zvizvai, formerly Deputy Minister of Mines & Mining Development, will become Deputy Minister of Media, Information & Publicity
  • Jesse Majome, formerly Deputy Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs, will become Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender & Community Development

Ladies and Gentlemen, the MDC agreed to form this inclusive Government as it represented the most practical means of moving Zimbabwe forward and halt the needless suffering of the people. In undertaking this task I have been humbled and encouraged by the commitment of all members of the MDC’s leadership, both within and outside of Government and I believe we are truly embodying the principles of a Party of Excellence.

I therefore wish to thank those Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are returning to the Party for their commitment and hard work and I call upon those remaining in the Government and our new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to join me in redoubling our efforts to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe.

Thank you

You will now almost certainly see the fissures in the MDC-T now erupt out in the open.

The gloves, after all, have been taken off first by Tsvangirai.

He has, in effect, taken the fight to the discontented in his party.

Watch them fight back.



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