PRESIDENT Robert Gabriel Mugabe yesterday fired Sport and Recreation minister Andrew Langa, a week after announcing a Cabinet reshuffle amid reports the former Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman was linked to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s “Gamatox” camp.
Langa — who had survived an earlier Cabinet purge, which claimed the scalps of Mujuru and 14 other ministers and their deputies — has been replaced by Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane, who only last week was appointed Minister Without Portfolio.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba confirmed Langa’s ouster in a statement yesterday.
“The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, has announced the appointment of Makhosini Hlongwane by His Excellency the President, Cde RG Mugabe, as the new Minister of Sport and Recreation,” a short statement read.
“He takes over from Honourable Andrew Langa, whose services have been terminated.”
Langa was early this year slapped with a two-year suspension from Zanu PF for allegedly working with the Mujuru camp in a plot to oust Mugabe in the build-up to the party’s December congress last year.
Before his suspension, he was relieved of his provincial chairmanship along with nine other party regional leaders, who were linked to the Mujuru camp.
In the statement, Charamba said the new Sport and Recreation ministry would no longer have the Arts and Culture portfolios, after they were moved to the newly-created Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage headed by former Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abednigo Ncube.
Langa’s ouster follows the dismissal of Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy minister Brigadier-General (Retired) Epmarcus Kanhanga in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.
Ziyambi was replaced by Obedingwa Mguni, while Kanhanga was replaced by Annastacia Ndlovu.
Ziyambi’s ousters was triggered by his alleged fallout with First Lady Grace Mugabe, while Kanhanga was kicked out due to his alleged links to the Mujuru faction.