The MDC-T would like to congratulate the new cabinet which was sworn in today. We note with great appreciation efforts of inclusion of women, youth and other minority groups in our country.
The cabinet is balanced old and new faces, which is unavoidable for a ruling party that continues in office and one cannot expect entirely new faces. The inclusion of technocrats like Hon. Minister Kirsty Coventry and Hon. Minister Mthuli Ncube is very commendable and progressive.
Our greatest concern as a party is the adherence and compliance of the Constitution as Supreme Law of this land and for the newly sworn in Ministers to be transparent, accountable, responsive and to be diligent as they execute their duties. Zimbabweans need to be inspired by new leadership which is committed and dedicated to transform Zimbabwe and not just to line their pockets as we have seen in the previous years.
We expect the new Ministers to engage with all stakeholders as they carry out their mandate and to ensure that they uproot corruption in their relevant ministries and professionally manage their portfolios with a people-centred and transformative approach. A Government that means business should have a strict policy stance on corruption as it is the root cause of the quagmire we are facing as a nation. Individual ministers count less if the Presidium and administrative structures are not willing to deliver or even fight corruption. As a party we implore the President of this country to ensure that the state, institutions and all agencies of government have a zero tolerance stance on corruption and the buck stops with him.
As part of our patriotism trajectory we don’t look at Zimbabweans through political party lenses, tribal or racial lenses and we applaud President ED Mnangagwa for looking at Zimbabweans in their totality and diversity without discrimination. It would have been desirable to achieve gender parity, we take note that there are six women in the cabinet though it would have been desirable to have ten women. Considering the fact that we have very low numbers of women in Parliament this year, we take it as work in progress to achieve gender balance.
We hope and trust that in future appointments not only in cabinet, but in all key state appointments be it in parastatals, boards and all offices of the government gender parity will be strictly adhered to as it is a constitutional provision.
It is also critical to note that the low numbers of women in Parliament are as a result of constitutional violations of section 17 and 56 of the constitution in political parties were gender equality issues are not taken seriously. We need stricter laws to deal with anyone who willingly violates the constitution of Zimbabwe. Women should know how important it is to vote for women candidates in our quest to achieve gender equality and to advance women issues at legislative level.
We hope that policy inconsistency will be a thing of the past and that the new government will be premised on the overall Government policy thrust and political will to see certain things done For example, constitutional compliance especially on devolution of power, Metropolitan and provincial councils must be headed by respective chairpersons determined by dominant party in province. Similarly, the finance portfolio should be seen collectively with Ministry of Industry, SMEs, and various ministries controlling parastatals as all these impact directly on economic recovery.
Managing banking sector crises in the immediate term is first test for Hon. Minister Mthuli Ncube. We are expecting security sector reforms and a pro people army, police and intelligence services.
Time for politicking is over, it’s now time to work collectively as a nation to hold our Ministers to account and demand improved service delivery from our local government and hospitals. People want housing, safe and clean water, jobs, quality education, decent salaries, proper surfaced roads and cash in the banks.
God Bless Zimbabwe!
God Bless Africa!
Linda Tsungirirai Masarira
MDC-T National Secretary for Information and Publicity
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