Excitement over Zimbabwe’s new Finance Minister

Associated Press and Own Correspondent

 

Zimbabwe’s newly-inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa has named respected economist Mthuli Ncube as finance minister in a new cabinet while dropping several faces that had dominated government for decades.

Ncube, an Oxford University professor who is a former vice president of the African Development Bank, has the tough task of reviving an economy wrecked under Robert Mugabe, who was ousted last year.

The country is battling an economic crisis that includes cash shortages, mass unemployment and lack of investment.

Mnangagwa, who has vowed fixing the economy is his priority, announced sweeping changes to his cabinet after his victory in the July 30 election. “We want to grow, modernise, mechanise our economy,” he said.

“In the next five years, we should uplift quite a number of our people who are in the marginalised category, (and) uplift them into middle class.”

Mnangagwa also made changes in the ministries of defence and home affairs, but left untouched the key posts of foreign affairs and lands, held by retired army chiefs.

The new defence minister is Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, a former liberation fighter who had held various posts, including that of tourism, under Mugabe.

Former Olympic swimmer Kirsty Coventry was named as sports minister.

Mnangagwa, 75, said he believed the new cabinet trimmed from 33 to 20 was “ideal for our current challenges”.

The Mugabe-era stalwarts dropped include former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and former home affairs minister Obert Mpofu.

Dr Ncube’s brief biography

D Mthuli Ncube is the Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). As Chief Economist, he oversees the Economics Complex, which is focused on the process of knowledge management within the bank and its economics strategy. Dr. Ncube’s other responsibilities include supervision of the departments of Research, Department of Statistics, and the African Development Institute.

Prior to joining the Bank Dr. Ncube was a Dean of the Faculty of Commerce Law and Management, and also Dean and Professor of Finance at Wits Business School, all at University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He was also a Lecturer in Finance at The London School of Economics, UK.  Dr. Ncube is now Chairman of the Board of African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

Dr. Ncube holds a PhD in Economics, specializing in Mathematical Finance, from Cambridge University, UK and has published 5 books and numerous papers in economics and finance.

 

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