Zimbabwe reshuffles cabinet with polls in mind

11 October 2017 - 06:42 By Nhlalo Ndaba
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File photo.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File photo.

Zimbabweans waited anxiously as President Robert Mugabe shuffled his cabinet on Monday night.

The biggest casualty was Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who was moved to a new portfolio as minister of cyber security, threat detection and mitigation.

Social media went into overdrive as a minister who was in charge of Zimbabwe's faltering economy was demoted to "national WhatsApp group administrator".

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who doubled as legal affairs minister, lost the portfolio but stays deputy head of state.

Analysts say stripping it from him is meant to weaken his position in the race to succeed Mugabe as the country heads for next year's general and presidential elections.

"He is at the mercy of the president, who can choose to remove him as vice-president," said political commentator Josphat Ngulube.

Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Chris Mushowe became minister in charge of scholarships in the president's office.