Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
INDUSTRY and labour yesterday welcomed the new Cabinet appointed by President Mugabe yesterday saying it comprised of tried and tested individuals and was a source of inspiration.Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries immediate past president, Mr Kumbirai Katsande, said the newly appointed Industry and Commerce Minister, Mike Bimha was conversant with the needs of industry.
“We are excited by the new appointment particularly with regard to the Ministry of Industry. Minister Bimha is not new, he has been a deputy minister before and prior to that he has been in the sector. He knows our needs as industry he is also approachable,” said Mr Katsande.
He said the immediate challenge that industry expected the Minister to address was manufacturing particularly issues to do with power, water and raw materials.
Zimbabwe is facing power shortages and experts say this has had a serious bearing in the manufacturing of goods mainly fertiliser that drives agriculture.
“We need to attract investment. The manufacturing sector needs urgent attention,” he said.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general, Mr Japhet Moyo, said while they were happy with the new Cabinet, they were particularly thrilled by the appointment of Cde Nicholas Goche as Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister.
“We have been given a person whom we have been working with as labour before. This means we are not going to start afresh to explain to him our challenges,” he said.
Mr Moyo said Cde Goche had come up with lots of plans for labour, but could not implement most of them owing to the coming into being of the now defunct inclusive Government.
“The issues he left were not attended to by the inclusive Government,” he said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary general, Mr Raymond Majongwe, hailed President Mugabe for giving Cde Nicholas Goche the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
He said Cde Goche was a tried and tested leader whose return to the ministry was likely to see most of the challenges facing civil servants being solved.
“As civil servants, there are so many positive things that we are expecting. He has a lot of experience. It’s a man we have worked with and we are looking forward to working with him very well given that he is an experienced minister, level headed and approachable,” he said. In the education sector, Mr Majongwe said Cde Lazarus Dokora who had been deputy minister, had vast experience of the short and long-term challenges his ministry was supposed to tackle in order for the education sector to move on.
“As deputy minister for such a time, I am sure he learnt a lot about the needs to be dealt with. We want to see how he is going to deal with the teachers’ problems. This is time to say let’s work for the betterment of our education sector,” he said.
Advisory Services and Research chief executive officer, Mr Gilbert Muponda, said most of the faces in the new look Cabinet were seized with the challenges faced by the economy hence it would be easy for them to look for solutions.
“These are people who have been there when the economy faced challenges. They will not allow the economy to go where it was before,” Mr Muponda said.
He lauded President Mugabe for ending anxiety by constituting Cabinet. Mr Muponda said it was critical that Zimbabweans supported those who had been thrust into Cabinet to steer the country forward.
President Mugabe unveiled a 26 member new Cabinet where he retained some ministers from the previous Cabinet and infused new blood from the party’s young Turks.
He also reassigned some of the Ministers who have been presiding over some Ministries. Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive, Mr Manuel Nyawo, lauded President Mugabe for creating two ministries from the education sector, The Ministry of Education led by Cde Dokora and Sports, Arts and Culture under Cde Andrew Langa.
He said the creation of the two ministries was going to harness expertise and develop mainly the sporting sector at national level that had been devoid of success for long.
“The separation is a welcome development. We have been yearning for this for too long. Some countries like South Africa have a separate ministry for sport. This at law is what we call “Trias Politica”, the doctrine of separation of powers. This is very welcome because it will have split in the area of education and sport. It is going to bring expertise that will not interfere with the education part.
“In the long run we are going to see an improvement in the sporting arena at national level because we are going to see experts being sourced to deal with sports only, not cases were they were also taken from education. People should give this time, it will work,” he said.
Mr Nyawo said former Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga, created chaos now obtaining in the education sector, adding that they were happy that these areas were now being led by experienced ministers.