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Zimbabwe:President Emmerson Mnangagwa caves in to public demands, drops two ministers

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Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday dropped two ministers he had appointed to his new cabinet just a day earlier, a move widely seen as a response to a public uproar over the nominations.

Mnangagwa, 75, named his cabinet overnight Thursday, and is expected to appoint two vice presidents following a special ZANU-PF congress in mid-December.

But he quickly replaced education minister Lazarus Dokora with Paul Mavima, a professor and also a lawmaker in the governing ZANU-PF party.

Professor Clever Nyathi was dropped as labour minister in favour of Petronella Kagonye, also a ZANU-PF lawmaker, though Nyathi will remain as special advisor on national peace and reconciliation.

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A government statement said the changes were necessary to “ensure compliance with the constitution and considerations of gender, demography and special needs.”

But Mnangagwa has come under fire for recycling officials from the era of ousted president Robert Mugabe, and for naming two military allies to top positions in his new cabinet.

Dokora, who had served in Mugabe’s government since 2013, has faced heavy criticism for introducing changes to the country’s education curriculum which were widely seen as threatening the once-revered school system.

Sibusiso Moyo, a major general who on November 15 went on state TV to announce the military’s takeover — a power grab which led to the 93-year-old Mugabe quitting the presidency a week later — is the new foreign affairs minister.

The new lands minister is the airforce boss Air Marshal Perence Shiri, who had previously headed a special North-Korean trained unit that is alleged to have committed atrocities during a crackdown on a rebellion in the western Matabeleland province in the early 1980s in which an estimated 20,000 people were killed.

Information minister and war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa will assume the role of special advisor to the president.

Mnangagwa is set to swear in his cabinet on Monday after taking over from Mugabe, who ruled the southern African country for 37 years.

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EFF demands the sacking of South Africa’s finance minister Nene.

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South Africa’s political players are headed for a collision course over the fate of the finance minister, who the Treasury on Tuesday said is traveling to Indonesia for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting.



Pressure has been piling on finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to resign, following his disclosure to the state-capture inquiry commission, that he had met the Gupta brothers between 2010 and 2013.

The Business Day on Monday reported that Nene had asked president Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties as finance minister.

Ramaphosa’s office responded and said they were not aware of Nene’s request.

And on Tuesday, Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the finance minister was expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday.

Nene is also expected to read the mid-term budget later this month.

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The news that Nene is continuing with his duties is likely to anger opposition supporters including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose leader, Julius Malema on Monday asked Ramaphosa to sack Nene.

In a written letter to Ramaphosa, Malema argued that the country, whose economy is in recession, had very serious challenges that needed a credible finance minister to address them.

‘‘Public servants at all spheres and levels of government will have no obligation to responsibly manage state fiscal resources under a compromised minister of finance,’‘ Malema said.

He then added that that Nene can no longer inspire much needed confidence to revive the economy.

‘‘The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)‚ which is supposed to be a statement to build confidence amongst all important economic role players‚ cannot‚ and should not‚ be delivered by a minister who was part of the Gupta criminal syndicate.”

For the EFF, Nene’s position as finance minister is no longer tenable and they are determined to win what they are now calling a battle.

Malema had threatened on Sunday that streets protests might be organised to demand for the removal of Nene as finance minister.

The Gupta brothers are accused of using their friendship with former president Jacob Zuma to influence government decisions including unfairly winning state contrcats.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

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South Africa: Ex-minister reveals Zuma’s Gupta deals.

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South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday he was fired by former president Jacob Zuma for refusing to approve contracts that would financially benefit the Gupta family, friends of Zuma accused of corruption.



Nene, who was giving testimony at a judicial inquiry into influence-peddling, said the main reason he was he was sacked was for rejecting a proposed plan to build a fleet of nuclear power plants. The project could have cost up to $100 billion.

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Zuma and the Gupta family deny allegations they colluded to inappropriately divert state funds.

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