THE NEW CABINET
…Themba Masuku returns as DPM
His Majesty King Mswati III has appointed a new Cabinet that should bring hope to Eswatini with its members’ experience and appropriate areas of expertise.
The 20-member Cabinet team was announced in less than five minutes at the Cabinet offices in Mbabane yesterday by its head, Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini.
The king’s tone has been vividly clear ever since he called Sibaya to announce the new PM last week that going into First World status is too demanding as it demands a doubled effort, changing strategies that the country employed in the yester year, and bringing in new strategies to encourage envisaged goals.
He said that would require researches in such areas as agriculture with a view to link domestic farming with commercialisation that may result in the product being sold in foreign markets; promoting tourism to increase the numbers of visitors; expansion in the industry sector; information technology; communication and transport.
He said these were some of the areas for the incoming teams, including the new Cabinet to be vigilant in improving adding that there are several other sectors, but he had picked a few just to emphasise the need to excel in standards in the country.
Indeed he has named a completely different Cabinet team that is expected to be a vehicle for economic transformation bringing in fresh and viable ideas to turn the country’s fortunes around.
Former Shiselweni Regional Administrator (RA) Themba Masuku has bounced back as the country’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), a ministry he
was in charge of during the 2008-2013 term.
The King has further appointed business mogul and Montigny Director Neal Rijkenberg to be in charge of the ministry of finance while Dr Tambo Gina will be in charge of the ministry of economic planning and development.
Manqoba Khumalo, the first Liswati to be appointed CONCO General Manager taking over from Jose Neves and who until recently has been deployed by the company overseas, is now minister of commerce, industry and trade.
Pholile Shakantu, nee Dlamini, who is adequately qualified in the field of law, is now minister of justice and constitutional affairs. The youngest Minister in this Cabinet Princess Sikhanyiso will be in charge of technology and innovation in the ministry of information, communication and technology.
Only three from the recent Cabinet that was led by the late Sibusiso Dlamini returned to Cabinet, but with new positions. These include former Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza, who is now deployed in the Agriculture portfolio; former Minister of Agriculture Moses Vilakati, who has been deployed to the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs; and former Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs David Cruiser Ngcamphala, who will now be in charge of the Tinkhundla Administration and Development portfolio.
Outgoing Eswatini Water Services Corporation (EWSC) Managing Director (MD) Peter Bhembe has been appointed by the King to head the natural resources and energy ministry while the ministries of home affairs, public works and transport and that of housing and urban development will be headed by Princess Lindiwe, Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe and Prince Simelane, respectively.
Thuli Dladla, who was the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairperson in the 10th parliament, is now foreign affairs and international cooperation minister while Lizzie Nkosi and Harries Madze Bulunga have been appointed to head the ministries of health and sports, culture and youth affairs respectively.
Completing the new-look Cabinet team are Mafutseni MP Lady Howard Mabuza (education and training), Makhosi Vilakati (labour and social security) and minister of public service Christian Ntshangase.
The new ministers are expected to be sworn as Ministers of the Crown at the Hospital Hill next week. Their first assignment as ministers is expected to be the attendance of the country’s national prayer that has been called by the King at Mandvulo Grand Hall this morning.
PM - Mandvulo Dlamini Tourism Moses Vilakati DPM - Themba Masuku Education Lady Howard Mabuza Commerce Manqoba Khumalo Labour Makhosi Vilakati Justice Pholile Dlamini Public Service Christian Ntshangase Natural Resources Peter Bhembe Economic Planning Tambo Gina Home Affairs - Princess Lindiwe Agriculture - Jabulani Mabuza Sports Harries Bulunga Public Works - Chief Ndlaluhlaza Housing Prince Simelane ICT - Princess Sikhanyiso Foreign Affairs Thuli Dladla Tinkhundla David Ngcamphalala Health - Lizzy Nkosi Finance - Neal Reijkenburg
His Majesty King Mswati III addressing Members of Parliament at Mandvulo Grand Hall on Wednesday.