President Mnangagwa yesterday dropped Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema in mini-Cabinet reshuffle that saw him promote former Minister of State in the Vice President Office Dr Evelyn Ndlovu as Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
Mathema, who has been reportedly unwell for weeks and accused of failing to adequately address the challenges plaguing the education sector, was demoted to the Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
The 74-year-old was recently reported to have been battling COVID-19 and was airlifted to Harare from United Bulawayo Hospitals.
In his place, Mnangagwa appointed Ndlovu, who is Bulilima proportional representative legislator.
“In terms of section 104(1) of the Zimbabwe Constitution, His Excellency the President Dr ED Mnangagwa has made the following ministerial appointments,” the letter from Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda read in part.
Mathema is not in good books with the teachers’ unions, who described him as arrogant, especially after threatening to fire striking teachers.
He claimed the country had enough teachers to man classrooms even if more educators failed to turn up for the second phase of schools reopening.
Schools are currently battling the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic amid complaints by teachers that government has failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment to combat the spread of the disease.
Teachers have also declared incapacitation and are demanding a review of their salaries for them to return to full-scale teaching.