BULAWAYO – Analysts here have waded into the recent Cabinet reshuffle that saw two ministers from the Matabeleland region being dropped.
Among those dropped were former War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube and former Rural Development minister Abednico Ncube — both from Matabeleland.
Analysts expressed mixed feelings over the departure of the two.
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said the Cabinet reshuffle had all to do with factionalism, particularly to those who were viewed to be aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Ncube’s dismissal was not a loss to Matabeleland because he was so arrogant for nothing.
“He had declared some areas like Gwanda South and Central no-go areas for civil society and opposition political party activities,” he said.
“Moreover, he was against the people of Matobo when he supported the invasion of Maleme Farm by a Gwanda top CIO (operative) Mashingaidze.”
Nkomo also accused the former minister of doing nothing for his ministry that “we can talk about” hence he was a “useless” leader in the region.
“Otherwise no one can shed a tear for him; it’s a personal loss for him and his family not to the people of Matabeleland.”
On the other hand, Nkomo described Dube’s departure as a sad loss to the region
“As for Dube, it is really a loss to the people of Matabeleland, because he has made a lot of outstanding issues for the region.
“He would advance regional issues on behalf of the people.
“So fearless was he that he even challenged Mugabe to name a successor but unfortunately he is replaced by Cain Mathema, someone whose war credentials are dubious and is considered a sell-out in the former liberators’ circles.
“He is a proxy of Mugabe and wherever he is represents Mugabe, so he won’t mean much to our existence.”
Another analyst Englestone Sibanda said the expulsion of Ncube was justified.
“Mugabe was justified by stripping Ncube of his ministerial duties; we have always had problems with him. We know of a lot of challenges that people have been facing as a result of Ncube. One such example that people of Matabeleland will not forget about Ncube is his role in the Maleme Ranch in Matopo where he wanted to impose a CIO agent ahead of the suffering people in the area. I am very confident that no one is shedding a tear for him, instead, people are celebrating,” Sibanda said.
“As for Dube, he was a leader par excellence, fearless, candid and one who puts his people first, so on that one, I think Mugabe got it wrong and it’s quite sad that he used factionalism at the expense of development,” he added.
Sibanda, however, indicated that the Cabinet reshuffle had nothing to do with performance but it was a way of weakening the Lacoste faction.
Another analyst Gifford Sibanda said the Cabinet reshuffle left Bulawayo province with no minister that comes from the province who sits in Cabinet.
“In terms for lobby for the Bulawayo people for their issues to be raised at Cabinet level, it’s a loss. However, Matabeleland North has managed to gain with three, it’s one of the most marginalised provinces in the country.
“However, the region as a whole hasn’t lost much in terms of representation as numbers don’t count much as most stand for the salaries not substantive issues of development,” Sibanda said.
Thomas Sithole said the reshuffle was motivated by the current discord and factionalism within the ruling party.
“Team Lacoste got a serious bashing as most of its sympathisers and loyalists were either sacked or reassigned to less strategic portfolios. The sacking of Dube and Ncube should be seen in this light,” Sithole said.
“It’s not about Matabeleland, Masvingo or any other region but all about remaining loyal to the president and the first family.
“In any case, it’s not a loss because their presence was never felt in the region with regards their contribution to the development of the region. The region is not going to mourn their departure at all.”