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Zimbabwean President Mugabe announces new Cabinet

By Columbus S. Mavhunga, for CNN
September 10, 2013 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mugabe's Cabinet is mainly composed of his allies from his previous appointments
  • It retains a ministry to oversee the policy of seizing the majority stake of foreign-owned firms
  • There are no appointments from the opposition

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe announced Tuesday a 26-member Cabinet mainly composed of allies from his previous appointments. It retains a ministry for enacting the policy of seizing the majority stake of foreign-owned firms.

"I am glad we now have a government of Zimbabwe following the harmonized elections," Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary to the president and Cabinet, told journalists at the State House. "The Cabinet has been reduced from 33 under the government of national unity to 26 ministers."

Zimbabwe has had no functioning Cabinet since the July 31 elections when Mugabe was re-elected. Prior to that, Mugabe's Zanu PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party shared power.

The new Cabinet retains the Ministry of Indigenisation, the policy of seizing the majority stake of foreign owned firms and giving them to black Zimbabweans. Critics of the policy have said it mainly benefits a few elites.

In the list released, Jonathan Moyo bounces back as media, information and broadcasting services minister. He was the minister who drafted tough media laws in 2002 that have resulted in the deportation of foreign journalists and the closing of some media organizations.

Mugabe tossed him out of Zanu PF after Moyo stood as an independent in the 2008 elections.

Former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa is now the finance minister, taking over from Tendai Biti, who was from the MDC party under the 2009-2013 coalition government.

The 89-year-old Mugabe and Zanu PF got more than a two-thirds majority in parliament in the July 31 elections.

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