Mnangagwa appoints two deputy ministers; nurse turned Zanu PF MP rewarded for hounding CCC activists 

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa this Wednesday appointed the deputy ministers of Health and Child Care and that of Industry and Commerce.

In a statement, Chief Secretary in the Office of President and Cabinet, Martin Rushwaya, said Mnangagwa has named Chiwundura Member of Parliament (MP) Sleiman Timius Kwidini as Health deputy minister while prominent Bulawayo businessman and Zanu PF member, Rajeshkumari Modi bounced back as Industry and Commerce deputy minister.

“In terms of subsection 104 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013, His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has appointed the following deputy ministers with immediate effect; Hon Sleiman Timius Kwidini (MP) —Health and Child Care and Rajeshkumari Modi—Industry and Commerce.”

Of the two latest key government appointments by Mnangagwa, it is Kwidini’s elevation that raises eyebrows from being a mere nurse at Gweru General Hospital, from where he launched his parliamentary bid, to a top bureaucrat.

In the aftermath of the August 2023 harmonised elections, Kwidini embarked on retaliatory actions against plot holders in Chiwundura and occupants of government-owned houses near Guinea Fowl School, who were allegedly facing possible eviction due to their perceived support for the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC).

Reports suggest that the newly elected legislator spearheaded efforts to identify and remove known or suspected opposition members as a form of punishment for challenging his position in the parliamentary race.

Despite Kwidini’s victory in the election, securing over 10,800 votes against CCC’s Blessing Murondiwa’s 7,266, there were allegations of retaliatory actions by Zanu-PF in specific wards, including Wards 9, 10, 13, and 14. One councillor had her maize field torched.

Questions were also raised regarding MP Kwidini’s employment status, with suspicions that he contested for the legislative seat while still employed as a nurse at the government hospital.

The lack of clarity regarding his resignation from his civil service position in accordance with government labour policies raises further scrutiny of his close links to Mnangagwa.