President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa announced his cabinet last evening, an executive team meant to address South Africa’s immediate challenges over the next five years.

Of great interest to Zimbabweans shouldn’t be any specific cabinet portfolio as governments are not run that way.

Renowned Zimbabwean investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono looks into the development and what it means for Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Chin’ono says it is the whole cabinet that decides what happens in the name of a country.

He says the most important country to Zimbabwe is South Africa because it is our biggest trading partner and where most of our diaspora live and work.

Chin’ono writes: “This has been the case since colonial times but it got worse after ZANUPF destroyed Zimbabwe’s economy which was only second to South Africa on the continent.

“Zimbabweans import from South Africa things as mundane as tooth picks since that country was destroyed by ZANUPF corrupt rule!

“This has made many cynical Zimbabweans to wrongly think that the South African government doesn’t want Zimbabwe back where it was economically in the 1980s because it would take away from South Africa’s huge one sided trade volumes.

“While immigration was a major topic in the recent South African elections, voters prioritised issues like service delivery, the economy, and other internal matters. Notably, the anti-immigrant parties like the PA and ActionSA performed poorly in the polls.

“So Zimbabweans shouldn’t focus solely on Home Affairs.

“South Africa will not suddenly expel Zimbabweans, as rational South African government officials know that would negatively impact the South African economy.

“President Shehu Shagari of Nigeria did that with Ghanaians in 1983, and the economy suffered after those dramatic and embarrassing deportations.

“Governments don’t function as isolated ministries, the actions of the cabinet as a whole are more important than any single minister’s agenda.

“Pro-democracy Zimbabweans should be more concerned about South Africa’s foreign policy towards Zimbabwe, which won’t be determined solely by the ANC due to the coalition government.

“The current policy of security and human rights is great, but the ANC has violated it by publicly siding with ZANUPF and insulting Zimbabwe’s opposition.

“The Zimbabwean situation affects the entire region, making it unlikely for the ANC to defend policies that harm South Africa, especially with the DA advocating for national interest and an ethical foreign policy which is not cobbled through the lenses of a boys club as ANC and ZANUPF were doing since the Mbeki years.

“It wouldn’t be politically prudent for the ANC to support the ZANUPF regime’s corrupt rule or entering into public fights with the DA over that, doing so could result in ANC being punished in local government elections.

“The next five years are crucial for Zimbabweans to fight hard, not waiting for South Africans to act on their behalf.
The only support Zimbabweans need is the ANC stopping its backing for the corrupt regime.

“If the Zimbabwean opposition and civil society fail to seize this moment and opportunity, they will be seen as ineffective and undeserving of leadership.

“A coalition South African government will never support the brutality inflicted on ordinary and innocent Zimbabweans by ZANUPF.

“However, this requires Zimbabweans to actively fight for their liberation, with South Africans providing only moral and regional support.

“Since it is now clear that Zimbabweans can’t rely on South Africa to do the heavy lifting, the presence of a coalition government presents a strategic opportunity for the Zimbabwean opposition and civil society to push for change through political reforms within their own borders using pressure including protests which are allowed under section 59 of the Zimbabwean constitution.

“The only party that is truly engaged with the international community at the money is ZANUPF, the opposition has failed to deliver on the foreign policy front, this has to change.

“Everyone who has an interest in Zimbabwean issues was waiting for today’s announcement. All the best to this cabinet, it needs it!”