President Emmerson Mnangagwa has bizarrely appointed his Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as the Minister of Health and Childcare with immediate effect.
Last month Obadiah Moyo was sacked as Health Minister after being implicated in the USD$60m CovidGate tender scandal. He was arrested and bailed on ZWL$50 000.
In a statement the government justified the former military General’s appointment (he has no experience whatsoever in the medical field) arguing he would turn around the ailing health sector.
“In terms of Section 99 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013, His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa has appointed Hon Vice President Dr C D G N Chiwenga as minister of Health and Child Care.
“In making this decision, His Excellency the President has noted the urgent need to stabilise, restructure and reform the National Health Delivery System to better cope with challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and in the process, ensuring a quick turn-around in national Healthcare,” read the statement.
The health sector has been on autopilot for more than a month without a minister, permanent secretary and public hospitals health directors.
Political commentator, Pedzisai Ruhanya said Chiwenga’s appointment as Minister of Health at a critical time when the health sector is disarray and Covid-19 at its peak are machinations designated to make Chiwenga take the fall for Mnangagwa and divert public public scrutiny from the leader’s growing unpopularity.
“After appointing a soldier as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health yesterday, Mnangagwa has appointed VP Gen Chiwenga as Minister of Health. Health has been militarised probably too intimidate doctors and nurses who have been on strike for 47 days #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.
“In politics if you have a problem with an internal adversary you give that person a heavy burden in order to fail him so that those who look up to that person see failure all over. That’s what ED has done to his VP Gen Chiwenga by pointing him to be Minister of Health,” Ruhanya said.
Chiwenga in 2018 bizarrely fired 16 000 striking nurses who were protesting for a pay hike and favourable working conditions.
Below are some of the reactions