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Mugabe to Unveil New Cabinet Next Week

President Robert Mugabe was sworn in last week following his party's landslide victory in the July 31 elections
President Robert Mugabe is next week expected to name his cabinet after Zanu-PF’s disputed landslide victory in last month’s elections.

Zanu-PF sources told VOA Studio 7 that Mr. Mugabe is currently consulting senior party leadership, known as the presidium, that includes Vice President Joyce Mujuru and party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, who is tipped to become the second vice president to replace the late Vice President John Nkomo.

But party insiders emphasized that under the new constitution, Mr. Mugabe alone has the prerogative to appoint ministers.

The party insiders also say Mr. Mugabe will try to balance two factions in his party, supporters of Miss. Mujuru and of Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who are said to be vying to succeed the 89-year old president. But the same sources say Mr. Mugabe would also like to trim his cabinet from 42 members during the government of national unity to something more easily managed and less expensive.

Regardless, sources say Mr. Mugabe is likely to retain most key figures in their current portfolios, including Indigenization Minister Savior Kasukuwere, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Studio 7 is hearing that Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo might be moved to telecommunications. Former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara may also be part of the five technocrats permitted under the new constitution.

Calls to presidential spokesman George Charamba to ask about the cabinet were unanswered, but Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo says Mr. Mugabe has the final say on who will or will not serve in the cabinet.

Senior analyst for the International Crisis Group Trevor Maisiri says putting the new cabinet together will not be easy.