President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, faced criticism on Monday after he appointed his son, David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, and his nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa as deputy ministers in a new cabinet following his re-election.
This move has called for concern about nepotism rising within the government.
Local media reported that Mnangagwa’s son will serve as the deputy to Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, while his nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, is to serve as the deputy minister of tourism and hospitality. This decision is part of the newly constituted cabinet consisting of 26 ministries.
Fadzayi Mahere, a lawmaker with the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), criticized Mnangagwa’s cabinet, calling it “indefensible.” She drew attention to flaws with the government’s competency, morality, and worries about its legitimacy, brutality, nepotism, and other factors.
Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa, a husband-and-wife pair, were named as ministers by President Mnangagwa in another controversial decision. The new minister of Women’s Affairs and SMEs is Monica Mutsvangwa, while the new minister of Veterans of Liberation will be Christopher Mutsvangwa.
David Mnangagwa, a recent University of Zimbabwe law graduate, was elected to parliament from the Midlands province using the Zanu PF party list’s young quota. He is one of President Mnangagwa’s allegedly close to two-dozen children.
Tongai Mnangagwa, however, is Zanu PF’s representative for the Hunyani constituency. He is the son of President Mnangagwa’s younger brother David Mnangagwa, who passed away.
According to reports, President Mnangagwa is reportedly thinking of giving one of his sons, Emmerson Junior, a formal position in his administration. According to sources, Emmerson Junior has already attended the president’s talks with international investors, and there are plans to formally establish his position as an adviser or director.
This dispute has just occurred after President Mnangagwa was re-elected despite allegations of electoral fraud from the opposition. Critics claim that by following in the footsteps of previous presidents who have chosen family members to important government positions, he is fostering the notion of dynastic politics in Africa.
President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville named his son Denis-Christel as a cabinet minister, igniting dynastic succession rumours.
While President Ali Bongo Ondimba took over for his long-reigning father Omar Bongo in Gabon, President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea appointed his son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue to serve as vice president.
The discussion regarding political dynasties in Africa was furthered when Rwandan President Paul Kagame selected his daughter Ange Kagame to a significant position in his administration.