Despite the dispute in his election, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday appointed his son as the deputy finance minister and retained Mthuli Ncube as the finance minister as he battles to rescue the country’s ailing economy.
The 80-year-old leader is under pressure to rebuild an economy hit by lack of foreign investment, unemployment, high inflation and a local dollar which has plunged 80% this year.
Mnangagwa won a second term in a disputed vote last month, which the opposition described as a “gigantic fraud” amid criticism from election observers who say the election failed to meet regional and international standards.
An ex-banker, Ncube himself has not been spared criticism after his economic policies failed to generate growth, amid failure to repay foreign debt in excess of $17 billion.
Mnangagwa appointed his son David Mnangagwa to be Ncube’s deputy as part of the parliament’s youth quota, while also announcing Soda Zhemu to head the mining ministry.
Zhemu replaced Winston Chitando as the Mines Minister, who headed the ministry since November 2017. He was the Minister of Energy and Power Development since 2020.
Mining generates more than half of Zimbabwe’s foreign export earnings and Mnangagwa has said the sector, which is attracting investors in lithium mining, will anchor future economic growth.
The ruling ZANU-PF party’s national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri was re-appointed as the Defence Minister.
“I have a huge majority and I think the opposition would enjoy to be in actual opposition rather than in government,” Mnangagwa told reporters after announcing the cabinet list, which had no opposition officials in it.