The swearing-in today of Cabinet ministers appointed by President Mnangagwa last week marks an important milestone in the history of the Second Republic.
The President’s “dream team” carries a heavy burden on its shoulders as it becomes the first Cabinet in the post-Mugabe era to lead the country in charting a new direction.
The pressure can be felt by everyone, including Zimbabweans who might not be so close to the goings-on in Cabinet meetings.
But there are a number of issues that the new ministers must mark and avoid if they are not to be judged as having failed the trust the President has bestowed upon them.
The new ministers must be aware that they can easily stumble over issues that they can easily avoid in their daily work.
We know that the temptation to fatten one’s pockets will be very high, especially in this new era, one of whose key objectives is to attract foreign investment.
In the past, there were many stories told of Government ministers who frustrated investors by demanding their own share of the money even before the funds were in the country.
Stories of tenders being awarded to proxies and briefcase companies simply because they had a connection with the minister made the rounds.
Those days should be over, especially with the tough stance that President Mnangagwa has taken on corruption.
We expect the Cabinet members to be clean in their dealings, well-focused on the goal to turn the country into a middle income economy by 2030.
Another important factor is that of unity.
Without unity and speaking from the same page, there is no way the country can move forward even with the best Cabinet.
If decisions are taken in Cabinet, let them become binding on every minister.
We have seen in the past how disunity among Government ministers can distort the vision of working towards turning around the fortunes of the country.
Another aspect that the ministers should be aware of is that part of their mandate will involve taking tough decisions, which might not be popular with their constituencies.
Unfortunately, time for lip service is long gone. It is up to every minister to realise that Zimbabwe is facing unusual problems that call for extraordinary solutions.
In the same vein, we expect fellow citizens to be ready for tough decisions that may seem not to be in their favour, but may be necessary to turn around the economy.
The problems are deep-rooted and have been with us for a long time and it would be folly to expect them to disappear within a few weeks.
The new ministers must equally be aware of where the country is coming from and where President Mnangagwa wants it to go.
They would be digging their own graves if they turned a blind eye to the glaring fact that illegal economic sanctions imposed by the West have ravaged the economy.
We are fully aware that President Mnangagwa has indicated that Zimbabwe will work with those who want to do business with us, a very crucial way of getting around the shackles of sanctions.
With or without sanctions, Zimbabwe will prosper and turn a new leaf, never to return to the era of poverty again.
To that effect, the new ministers should depart from the usual scapegoat of blaming sanctions even for failures that are internally generated.
They should learn to create positives out of the sanctions, taking advantage of what we can control as a nation.