Relevance of deputy ministers posts questioned

By Edward Mukaro and Simbarashe Musaki
THE recent sacking of the deputy minister of Information and Broadcasting services Energy Mutodi has left tongues wagging in the political realm, with many politicians (opposition) questioning the relevance of the post, while describing it as a reward for political blue-boys.
Government deputy ministers in Zimbabwe always play second fiddle to appointed ministers across the board, as they are rarely given opportunities to lead their respective ministries in the event that the responsible minister is somehow incapacitated or unavailable.
This has caused analysts and politicians alike from different backgrounds to question the validity of the posts, while some have stressed that the deputy ministerial posts in Zimbabwe are a duplication of roles, which also overburden taxpayers to fund a role that government can afford to terminate.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The BusinessConnect political analyst Jeffreyson Chitando said the deputy minister’s post is just, but an avenue being used to milk taxpayers’ money.
“The post of deputy minister is only a reward for political blueboys. It is only there to create a bigger praise and worship team for the President. The deputy minister post is a post to drain money from treasury, signifying nothing.
“A deputy minister doesn’t sit in Cabinet, neither does he or she act on behalf of the minister meaning he or she is as good as not being there. In Zimbabwe the deputies are only there to answer questions in Parliament and to officially preside over very minimal duties,” he said.
Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) president Linda Masarira concurred with Chitando by calling for the complete abolishment of the deputy minister’s post citing that it is a total waste of taxpayers money.
“There is no reason, whatsoever to have deputy ministers in Zimbabwe. They are just a total waste of taxpayers funds, which can be used for more important issues. The deputy ministers posts should be abolished so as to ensure that there is no duplication of roles.
“Cognizant of the fact that when a substantive minister is on leave, a deputy minister is not appointed to act. It shows that they have no role they are playing in the matrix of governance in Zimbabwe. We cannot continue suffocating our economy because men in power want to reward loyalty to their blue-eyed girls and boys in their party,” she jibed.
Robson Melassi chipped in saying the issue of deputy ministers must come under the microscope, as Zimbabwe, which is already debt ridden.

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