Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa faced criticism on Monday for appointing his son, David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, and his nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, as deputy ministers in his newly formed cabinet after being re-elected.
This move has raised concerns about nepotism within the government.
Local media reported that Mnangagwa’s son would serve as the deputy to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, while his nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, would be the deputy minister of tourism and hospitality. This decision is part of a cabinet reshuffle that includes 26 ministries.
Fadzayi Mahere, a lawmaker with the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), criticized Mnangagwa’s cabinet, describing it as “indefensible.” She pointed out concerns about the government’s competency, morality, legitimacy, brutality, nepotism, and other issues.
President Mnangagwa also appointed Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa, a husband-and-wife pair, as ministers, which further fueled controversy. Monica Mutsvangwa will be the new minister of Women’s Affairs and SMEs, while Christopher Mutsvangwa will serve as the new minister of Veterans of Liberation.
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David Mnangagwa, a recent law graduate from the University of Zimbabwe, was elected to parliament from the Midlands province as part of the Zanu PF party’s youth quota. He is believed to be one of President Mnangagwa’s nearly two dozen children.
Tongai Mnangagwa represents the Hunyani constituency for Zanu PF and is the son of President Mnangagwa’s younger brother, David Mnangagwa, who is deceased.
Reports suggest that President Mnangagwa is considering giving one of his sons, Emmerson Junior, a formal role in his administration. Emmerson Junior has reportedly attended the president’s meetings with international investors, and there are plans to establish his position as an adviser or director.
This controversy follows President Mnangagwa’s re-election, which was marred by allegations of electoral fraud from the opposition. Critics argue that by appointing family members to key government positions, he is perpetuating the idea of dynastic politics in Africa.
Similar situations have occurred in other African countries, where leaders have appointed family members to important government roles. This has led to speculation about dynastic succession in countries like Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Rwanda.
The discussion about political dynasties in Africa has gained momentum in recent years as leaders in several nations have chosen relatives to occupy significant positions within their administrations.