A mixed bag for Magufuli cabinet list

Sunday December 06 2020
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By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday named his cabinet line-up, striking the balance between old and new members who made the list in the beginning of his second term in office.

President Magufuli brought in 10 new faces into the cabinet, retaining 13 old faces, two of whom were shuffled. The President also named 23 deputy ministers, a departure from the past when some ministries had more deputy ministers.

Chief Secretary John Kijazi read the list at a televised address from the State House in Dodoma in the evening. The list will have 23 full cabinet members, including four women ministers – the same number from the last 2015-2020 cabinet.

The line-up showed that five members of the outgoing cabinet who were re-elected as Members of Parliament were left out by the President who, however, nominated two senior government officials as MPs and gave them full ministerial positions.

The announcement of the names also indicate that there would be no member of the cabinet from Zanzibar, except for Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi and Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The president formed a new ministry of communications and information technology which will be headed by Dr Faustine Ndungulile, the Kigamboni MP for a second term.


It was bitter sweet news for Dr Ndungulile whose appointment is a promotion as he was sacked as deputy minister of health by the President towards the end of the last government.

The two new comers who were appointed MPs and their ministerial positions are Dr Dorothy Gwajima who will head the health ministry where she was serving as deputy permanent secretary. In recent years, she has aggressively pursued discipline, professionalism and competency in the management of the docket.

Dr Leornard Chamuriho was also nominated and named the new minister for Transport and Communication. He will head the same ministry he was serving as a permanent secretary under former minister Makame Mbarawa who was elected as member of the House of Representatives in Zanzibar for Mkoani constituency.

The five former ministers who will now seat in Parliament as backbenchers are Hamisi Kigwangalla (Natural Resources and Tourism), Japheth Hasunga (Agriculture), Mussa Zungu (Union Affairs), Isaac Kamwelwe (Transport and Communication) and Luhaga Mpina (Livestock and Fisheries).

The list of the other eight new entrants into the cabinet are Damas Ndumbaro who will head the Natural Resources Tourism ministry after serving as deputy ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Mr Mashimba Ndaki who will lead the Livestock and Fisheries ministry, Elias Kwandikwa who takes over the Defence docket formerly handled for many years by Dr Mwinyi before he left to run for Zanzibar presidency.

Other new faces are Juma Aweso who will be the minister for Water, the same ministry he served as deputy minister, earning a promotion from his boss, Dr Kitila Mkumbo, the first time Ubungo MP will be the Investment minister. He served as permanent secretary for water before plunging into elective politics in Dar es Salaam. He was formerly a member of the opposition party ACT-Wazalendo. Adolf Mkenda who worked as permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs before running for office will be the minister for Agriculture. The last on the newcomer list is Geofrey Idelphonse who was sent to the ministry of Industry and Trade.

President Magufuli who had earlier indicated that he would not make many changes in the government structures following the 0ctober 28 polls showed faith in 13 faces of the old cabinet, retaining 11 of them in the same docket and moving only two. Those moved were Ummy Mwalimu from health to union affairs and Innocent Bashungwa from trade and industry to the Information docket. Those who were retained in the old positions include Prof Palamagamba Kabudi (Foreign) and Dr Philip Mpango (Finance). This two were appointed earlier, on November 13. The list here also include George Mukuchika (Good governance), William Lukuvi (Lands), Jenister Mhagama (Labour, employment and policy coordination), Mwigulu Nchemba (Justice and constitutional affairs), Prof Joyce Ndalichako (Education, science and technology), Selemani Jaffo (Local government), Medad Kalemani (Energy), Dotto Biteko (Minerals) and George Simbachawene (Internal affairs).

With yesterday’s appointment, Mr Lukuvi and Mr Mkuchika will become among the longest serving cabinet ministers, sitting in the team since the full time of President Magufuli’s predecessor Jakaya Kikwete.

The other stark difference in the new line up is the fact that there will be no cabinet minister from Zanzibar which between 2015-2020, was represented by Dr Mwinyi and Prof Mbarawa. All the four Union affairs ministries namely Defence, Finance, Internal affairs and Foreign affairs will be headed by MPs from mainland Tanzania.

ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe immediately tweeted saying it would be the first time in recent history of the Union that the full cabinet list did not have a single minister from the Isles. Dr Mwinyi was the minister for Defence in the whole five years of President Magufuli’s first term. Prof Mbarawa was also a minister but in a non-union affairs ministries of Transport and communication and water which he served at different times.

In the list of the 23 deputy ministers, there were predominantly new names except for a few old names retained. President Magufuli brought in formerly opposition members as deputy ministers namely Pauline Gekul, David Silinde, David Molel who briefly replaced Dr Ndungulile when he was sacked. Former Chadema official and Dodoma District Commissioner Patrobas Katambi was also named deputy minister as was Tarime Riral MP Mwita Waitara who was retained.

Another notable name retained as deputy was Hussein Bashe while notable deputies dropped include Anthony Mavunde, Ashashu Kijaji and Juliana Shonza. Geofrey Mizengo Pinda also made the cut as a deputy minister.