The veteran trade unionist replaces the late Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro who died in August this year. Before her appointment Matibenga had been the MDC-T governor designate for Masvingo province.
She is a founder member of the MDC-T and a former General Secretary of the Commercial Workers Union and a first vice president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. At one time she was also the president of the Southern African Trade Union Coordination Council.
In 2005 thugs from ZANU PF attacked her in her ZCTU office and broke her arm. The same arm was broken again in 2006 during another attack by state security agents and this has left her hand deformed.
Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa they are happy to have an individual of her calibre leading the public service ministry.
‘We hope and have confidence in her that she is going to deal with the issue of ghost workers and the horrible civil service audit and accountability. The late professor did a splendid job in flushing out these ghost workers and there is every hope Minister Matibenga will finish that job,’ Mwonzora said.
Mugabe also swore in Seiso Moyo, the MDC-T MP for Nketa in Bulawayo, as the deputy Minister of Agriculture. Moyo is the party’s director of elections and like Matibenga was governor designate for Bulawayo metropolitan province.
‘We now have a substantive deputy Minister of Agriculture. This is a man who is sober, mature and a good administrator. His skills will bring some sanity into that ministry.
‘This is a ministry that has let down a lot of people in Zimbabwe. The distribution of farming inputs is still skewed in favour of one political party, so we hope he will bring professionalism into that ministry,’ Mwonzora added.
At the formation of the unity government in 2009 Mugabe refused to swear in the popular Roy Bennett, the treasurer-general of the MDC-T, in the post of deputy Minister of Agriculture. Mugabe’s refusal has remained an outstanding issue in the Global Political Agreement.
Bennett remained the MDC’s choice for this post until he was eventually hounded out of the country in April by Mugabe’s Joint Operations Command. The former commercial farmer has been acquitted by the Supreme Court of the trumped up treason charges against him, but still feels it’s unsafe for him to return home. His party has since appointed him the MDC-T chief representative in the UK. – Swradio africaPost published in: News