COMMENT (Zimbabwe Investor) – After waiting for forty days following the much anticipated general election on 31 July 2013, the cabinet to stir Zimbabwe through the next five year was unveiled by President Robert Mugabe.
The cabinet line-up was only surprising by its lack of renewal which many both within and outside the ruling ZANU (PF) party may view as a missed opportunity. What is clear is Mugabe has gone back to the same old war horses he has trusted for much of his stay in power since independence in 1980.
Mugabe chose a cabinet because he got the mandate to do so on 31 July 2013. Whether those appointed to various ministries will deliver for him or not is a different question. What is required is that the government is held to account from the very first day in office. That responsibility of holding the government to account lies squarely on the people of Zimbabwe led by the opposition in parliament, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). That responsibility begins by putting in place a good shadow cabinet which demonstrates that they were ready to rule.
The MDC as a national institute which is funded by the tax payer has an obligation to ensure ZANU (PF) delivers on the promises made to the people through responsible policies and their implementation. Not only is it MDC’s national duty, it is also the only way the opposition will recapture the glamour that saw it rise to be the most popular political party in the 2008 elections. The MDC has an opportunity to show that it is really a party for the people as it claims.
The leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai has a pool of 49 elected parliamentarians to choose a shadow cabinet from. He has at his disposal individuals who proved they were up to the task of governing during the coalition government years. Their stints in government will have given them enough insight into the operations of state to ask the questions that matter. No one is better placed than the MDC to highlight the shortfalls of the ZANU (PF) led government over the next 5 years.
The MDC’s continuous state of protest without providing an alternative constructive argument is a disservice to Zimbabwe. The MDC must stand up and lead now more than ever before.