THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has appointed a team to “overshadow” government ministries in parliament with insiders describing the development as demonstrative of the party’s readiness to govern, ahead of crunch elections due next year.
The CCC list collapsed the Zanu PF government’s bloated cabinet to just 15 portfolios in line with the opposition party’s commitment to have “between 12 and 15 ministries, no deputy ministers”.
Neither party leader Nelson Chamisa nor official spokespersons could be reached for comment ahead of publishing, but well-placed insiders emphasised to newzimbabwe.com that “this is not a shadow cabinet because when you shadow you are following”.
“This team will overshadow, that is dominate and outshine Zanu PF in Parliament by demonstrating our readiness to govern and articulating alternative policies,” said our source who preferred not to be identified because they were not authorised to speak on behalf of the party.
He added; “It should also be emphasised that these roles are only limited to parliament; the party positions will be announced in due course.
“We are ready to govern and even Zanu PF knows that; I can also reveal that we have since identified a new Chief Justice for the country and a new head of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”
CCC was formed in January this year as Chamisa and allies decided to start anew; moving away from the bitter internecine fights for control of the opposition MDC movement and the endless quarrels over the legitimate successor to founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s political inheritance.
This week’s appointment of a shadow cabinet for Parliament comes after CCC was excoriated without let for weeks by the likes of exiled former information minister Professor Jonathan Moyo over the lack of structures, a party constitution, policy blueprints and an elected leadership.
Another professorial intervention on the issue came with the visit to the country of Steven Chan, professor of world politics at the University of London in the United Kingdom.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Chamisa, Professor Chan said on Twitter; “ …of what should be projected as a government-in-waiting, with whom in each specialist portfolio, e.g. health, education, justice, agriculture, industry, finance, foreign affairs & defence will the West be dealing? So is it a GOVERNMENT-in-waiting, or simply a President-in-waiting.”
The reference to the Western countries wanting to know who they would be dealing with in the CCC was latched onto by critics who said the remarks confirmed the opposition was a puppet of western countries.
Prof Chan also had some testy exchanges with Prof Moyo who described the former as a “running dog of British intelligence services”.
Chan further stoked curiosity about his visit when he said he would be meeting the UK Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to share his impressions about Zimbabwe.
Whoever becomes the new UK PM will appoint a new Foreign Secretary & new Minister for Africa, so I shall seek to pay courtesy calls to both to share with them my impressions from this visit, ending today, to Zimbabwe.
— Stephen Chan (@DrStephenChan) July 13, 2022
Again commenting after the Shadow Cabinet was reported in the local media, Prof Chan said;
https://t.co/oFfzZSu4bC I am very happy he has done this. During our meeting, and in some of my media interviews while in Zimbabwe, I stressed the need for the West to know with whom it would be dealing, portfolio by portfolio, in the event of a 2023 CCC electoral victory.
— Stephen Chan (@DrStephenChan) July 15, 2022
In response to these remarks, Prof Moyo said;
Puppeteer directs, puppet implements. @DrStephenChan told them publicly here on @Twitter that the West wants their structures in Parliament, and they obliged within four days. Terrible optics. This kind of display of puppetry is as unfortunate as it is concerning! https://t.co/KFE0y6HIsM pic.twitter.com/k2d5D49iOf
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) July 15, 2022
CCC however, denied charges by ruling Zanu PF surrogates that appointment of the “shadow cabinet” was in response to Professor Chan’s concerns.
“This has nothing to do with the Twitter debate about structures or the comments by Professor Chan,” said our source.
“These appointments were made way, way back; it’s just that Parliament takes too long to respond to our communications.”
In his letter to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda regarding the appointments, Chamisa said; “This serves to inform your office that Hon Prosper C. Mutseyami shall be the party chief whip and he will be deputised by Sichelesile Mahlangu,” wrote Chamisa in his correspondence to Parliament Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda.
“The party has also made the following appointments to shadow the substantive Ministry.”
SHADOW CABINET IN FULL:
Prosper C. Mutseyami – Chief Whip
Sichelesile Mahlangu – Deputy Chief Whip
Tendai Biti – Finance and Economic Development,
Charlton Hwende – Defence and War veterans,
Willias Madzimure – Industry and Commerce,
Susan Matsunga – Women’s affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development
Judith Tobaiwa – Health and Child Care
Fani Munengami – Primary and Secondary Education, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development
Happymore Chidziva – Youth, Sport, Arts – and Recreation,
Wellington Chikombo – Local Government and Public Works,
Eric Murai – Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement)
Johnson Matambo – Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Settlement Chikwinya – Transport and Infrastructure Development shadow minister.
Kucaca Phulu – Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs shadow minister,
Murisi Zwizwai – Mines and Mining Development,
Prince Sibanda – Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Dickson Tarusenga – Energy and Power Development
Godfret Koster – Caucus secretary for the CCC party in the National Assembly.