Have Zimbabweans been played? That is the question many are asking as the governing Zanu-PF settles into "business as usual" mode, with many familiar faces back in the cabinet and a strongly militaristic bent in key posts. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet announcement late last week put the brakes on the tide of optimism that had swept over the country in the wake of the removal of long-time despot Robert Mugabe. The appearance of old-timers steeped in nondelivery was a reality check for Zimbabweans, showing that the hoped-for "new broom" approach to governance by Mnangagwa in the spirit of change and unity may have been a mirage. It was at odds with an inauguration speech that suggested the president recognised what needed to be done to deal with the country’s deep-seated problems. Key among the old guard was Zanu-PF stalwart and former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, whose performance under Mugabe was lame. However, he has had several years of experience in the role, he ...

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