By Buhle Tshavango
Sixty-eight (68) year old Sithembiso Nyoni was today sworn in as Minister of Women and Youth Affairs, a move that has been described by many as retrogressive as she is out of touch with the realities of young people.
Sithembiso Nyoni was sworn into office together with 18 other ministers by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the statehouse today.
The former Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development’s change of portfolio has not gone down well with many as she is said to be too old for her portfolio among other issues.
Hon Nyoni is famed for failing to bring meaningful development in her former ministry as well as failing to develop her Parliamentary Constituency Nkayi North.
President Mnangagwa collapsed the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment and the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development to form the Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs.
This means Nyoni takes over from both former Ministers Nyasha Chikwinya and Chiratidzo Mabuwa who were previously holding the collapsed portfolios.
While Nyoni’s mandate over Women Affairs has been accepted with though with a heavy heart and for the fact that she is also a woman, young people from all walks of life have expressed dismay as they feel their issues cannot be represented by someone who has way outlived her youth.
In January of 2009, Hon Nyoni was axed as a cabinet minister after failing to secure seats in either the House of Assembly or Senate.
Hon Nyoni is one of the few women appointed as ministers and has a long standing history serving in the ruling party.