WASHINGTON DC —
Just a day after President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration, speculation turns to the makeup of the next cabinet. Political analysts and economists say the cabinet will be key in shaping the future of the country.
Former president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Luxon Zembe, says Mr. Mugabe’s next cabinet must be lean, not exceeding 25 ministers.
Mr. Zembe urged the president to appoint a cabinet that fuses experience and new blood, adding it must be economic-oriented to revive the economy.
The country's out-going cabinet consisted of 31 ministries, in addition to the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, provincial governors, and other posts.
Other cabinet advice comes from Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions' Secretary General Japhet Moyo, who says he hopes Mr. Mugabe has learnt from past mistakes and allow ministers to express themselves, rather than force them to toe the party line.
Officials from the Zimbabwe Football Association and sports enthusiasts are, on the other hand, calling on Mr. Mugabe to create a stand-alone sports ministry as a way of reviving sport in the country.
Despite all the advice, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, Dumisani Muleya, said he expects the president to recycle the old guard.
Mr. Muleya says that Zanu PF is built on patronage and Mr. Mugabe’s cabinet will need to be big enough to try and appease warring factions in his party.
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, also says people should not expect major changes from the President.
Amid reports that jostling for cabinet posts is said to have intensified within Zanu PF, a senior party official told VOA Studio 7 that Mr. Mugabe is likely to announce a new cabinet in less than two weeks.