Mugabe's Cabinet reshuffle: 'Changes won't improve economic situation'

Robert Mugabe and his Youth Chairman Kudzanai Chipanga

Robert Mugabe and his Youth Chairman Kudzanai Chipanga

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has replaced Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa - who will lead a new Security Ministry - with Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo in a cabinet reshuffle, the government said in a statement Monday.

The impending cabinet reshuffle comes against the backdrop of tension within ZANU PF where Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is under fire for allegedly trying to overthrow Mugabe.

Many speculated over Mnangagwa's fate, given the public showdowns against him of late, including recently by his colleague Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and First Lady Grace Mugabe who dared him to leave the party, while officiating over the opening of The Empowerment Bank.

The state-run Herald - seen as the government's official voice - on Tuesday hailed the reshuffle as "a welcome move that would send a reverberating message that the president is fully in control".

Mugabe told a meeting of the ruling ZANU-PF youth wing in Harare that it was time to review the performance of his cabinet ministers. "They should subordinate themselves to him", it said.

After mounting the saddle as head of her husband's party, Grace has since been slowly removing any real challengers in her quest to take-over from her tyrant husband who has been President of Zimbabwe since the country gained independence.

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The vice president torched a storm last weekend when he claimed that he was poisoned during a ZANU PF rally in August.

But on Thursday, Mrs Grace Mugabe dismissed the suggestions.

"The reshuffle deflates Mnangagwa's plans".

His supporters have suggested that rivals within Zanu-PF were responsible, although Mr Mnangagwa has distanced himself from such claims.

Mugabe's wife Grace then angrily accused Mnangagwa - the frontrunner to replace the president - of dishonesty, alleging that some unnamed people were plotting a coup if their candidate did not succeed him.

"Mugabe has also created the cyber-security ministry as an attempt to clamp down on social media movements that pose a big threat to his regime ahead of the election".

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