Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday swore into office two new ministers and three deputies appointed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a shuffle of the ministerial portfolios held by his formation of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change, now a partner in the power-sharing government.
Mr. Tsvangirai said on Wednesday that the move was intended to bolster his ministerial team and make it more effective in the unity government. He removed two ministers and two deputies from their positions and assigned them to party duties, including the former energy minister, Elias Mudzuri.
Mr. Mugabe swore in Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada and Minister of State Jameson Timba, who is attached to Mr. Tsvangirai’s office. Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire, Deputy Youth Minister Tongai Matutu and Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu were also sworn in. Gutu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo he will strive to ensure fairness and justice for all and "make sure there is justice and rule of law in the country."
Mr. Tsvangirai and his two deputies, Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, attended the ceremony.
Political analyst John Makumbe, a professor at the University of Zimbabwe, said he was pleased that the ceremony went on without the problems that often hamper cooperation between Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the MDC.