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Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 05:35 GMT 06:35 UK
Mugabe hardens up his cabinet
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe dissolved the cabinet on Friday
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has kept on his most loyal ministers and dropped a leading critic, according to details of his new cabinet released on Sunday.

The embattled leader dissolved the government on Friday in a surprise move which officials said was linked to his programme for seizing white-owned farms.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, who leads the land seizure programme, has been kept on along with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwean media said.

But Mr Mugabe dropped his liberal finance minister, Simba Makoni, who has openly differed with the president on how to rescue the country's economy, and also replaced the sole white minister in the cabinet.

Mr Makoni was replaced by Herbert Murerwa, the industry minister, who is seen by many as a Mugabe loyalist.

The white Health Minister, Timothy Stamps, had been ill for some time, and is being replaced by his deputy, David Parirenyatwa.

Mr Mugabe had faced accusations that his cabinet was illegal because he failed to reappoint his ministers after winning controversial elections in March.

White farmers and the opposition subsequently went to court to argue that the cabinet was illegal and that orders it made were invalid.

'Mugabe's madness'

Britain has warned that Zimbabwe faces a mounting humanitarian crisis which it blames directly on Mr Mugabe.

Jack Straw
Straw: Isolate Mugabe's regime
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called for stopping the "madness and badness" of Mr Mugabe from impacting on ordinary people.

He said the crisis affected both white farmers and their black employees who were also being thrown off their land.

"What we have to do... is to support the forces of democracy in Zimbabwe meanwhile, to sustain the people against starvation and, increasingly, to isolate the Mugabe regime," the British minister said.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Alastair Leithead
"Simba Makoni is seen very much as a liberal"

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25 Aug 02 | Africa
25 Aug 02 | Africa
14 Aug 02 | Politics
11 Jul 02 | Africa
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