There was excitement on social media last Friday following the announcement of cabinet ministers.
With so much negativity and dashed hopes of a brighter future, Twimbos (term for Zimbabweans on Twitter) could not hide their joy when President Emmerson Mnangagwa named his ministers.
While we know that there is still a long way to better days, the choice of cabinet ministers gave many hope that the president could be on the right track – after all, they say a leader is as good as his team!
The president finally let go off the uninspiring deadwood that had been sitting comfortably (but achieving little) in cabinet for many years.
In fact many people blame these deadwoods for much of the troubles that have befallen Zimbabwe over the years.
The most notable casualty is former minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa who is credited, or a rather discredited with exacerbating the cash crisis by introducing the bond notes.
Though they were initially meant to ease cash shortages and were supposed to be on par with the American dollar, the surrogate currency worsened the situation and has since lost its value against the greenback.
The new Finance minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, whose coming into cabinet pleased many, has already hinted that Zimbabwe should do away with the surrogate currency.
What keyed up many Zimbos about Ncube is that he is a renowned international economist and financial expert hence the expectation that if given the chance to implement his ideas, he might just be the springboard Zimbabwe was so desperately waiting for.
Of course, issues or problems have more to do with the system than individuals but the hope is that with the right people in place, systems might be changed for the good of the country.
Another cabinet minister who was named, much to the excitement of Twimbos, is the Youth and Sport Minister, Kirsty Coventry.
Coventry, 34, is a former swimmer and winner of Zimbabwe’s only Olympic Gold medal.
What made many optimistic about the future is that for the first time in many years, this is a cabinet of technocrats and not people who were appointed because they had ‘risked their lives fighting for the country’ or simply because they were allies of the president.
Mnangangwa still retained some of the old ministers and his allies but many feel he must be given credit where it’s due.
Additionally, Mnangagwa reduced the number of cabinet ministers from the traditional 35 to 20, which is a step in the right direction towards cutting expenditure.
Of course in recent days prices of commodities have been going up, dampening the spirits of many – but, as already indicated, there is optimism that if (and it’s a big ‘IF’) Mnangagwa and his team get cracking as promised, the suffering we have long endured as ordinary people could possibly be consigned to the past.
Indeed, it is a ray of hope brighter than anything we have had for a long, long time!