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Zimbabwe cabinet ministers sworn in

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-11 09:00
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on during the swearing in of new cabinet ministers at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

HARARE - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday swore into office his new 20-member cabinet that will drive Zimbabwe's economic revival in the next five years.

This comes after Mnangagwa named the leaner cabinet last Friday that is composed of new, old, experienced and youthful faces.

A cross section of the Zimbabwean society has welcomed the cabinet as a breath of fresh air, taking into account that it excludes most of Mugabe-era ministers.

The new finance minister Mthuli Ncube was the first to take the oath of office and he said his priorities are to stabilize the economy, clearing the country's huge external debt, restoration of public confidence in the financial sector as well as addressing the current cash crisis.

He said addressing these issues would put Zimbabwe on a strong footing to eventually re-introduce its own currency dumped in 2009 in favor of multiple currencies after being rendered worthless by a decade of hyperinflation.

"The issue of currency reform will be underway. It is important that we do that but currency reform alone is not adequate. It needs a second leg which is fiscal policy to create stability, so that is what I will be focusing on," he said.

He said his ministry will look at other options beyond the surrogate bond notes introduced in 2016 to stem the cash crisis but have slowly lost their value to the green back on the black market.

"Ultimately I would want the Zimbabwe dollar to come back as a sovereign currency, legal tender and store of value," he said.

The former banker and financial expert said the country's cash crisis was a reflection of the country's "poor macro-economic" environment.

Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo who retained his position said Zimbabwe will continue with its engagement and re-engagement policy.

"All what we want is to ensure that we are friendly to all countries and above all our policy is Zimbabwe first in everything we do. But of course there are compromises because every nation has its own firsts," he said.

Zimbabwe's most successful Olympian and surprise cabinet inclusion Kirsty Coventry said she would engage stakeholders to find ways of resolving challenges facing the sports sector.

Coventry is one of the five ministers picked by Mnangagwa from outside parliament for their professional skills and competence.

Mnangagwa also swore into office 13 deputy ministers and nine provincial ministers.

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