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Vol 37 No 11

Published 24th May 1996


Zimbabwe

Shuffling

Mugabe's reshuffle marked a more open style but it didn't promote a new generation

At long last, Zimbabwe has a minister in charge of its economy. The most significant name at President Robert Gabriel Mugabe's two-hour press conference on 9 May, when he announced his reshuffle, was that of Herbert Murerwa, confirmed in the job of Finance Minister after acting as such since Ariston Chambati's death last year. Business people think Murerwa (54) competent but underqualified (his doctorate is in education) and lacking in political clout. However, he is a protégé of Mugabe, whose support he may get for his ministry's policies. He is neither in the party Politbureau nor in the running to lead the next generation, so should not be tempted into the economics of populism. Nor is there any whiff of corruption about him, which cannot be said of some of his colleagues. A former High Commissioner to Britain, he was parachuted into cabinet in 1990 as Tourism and Environment Minister.

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