Prime Minister Robert Mugabe today named a broadly based Cabinet for the independent nation of Zimbabwe, including two key whites to reassure businessmen and farmers of the white minority that the advent of black rule will not lead to revolutionary changes.
The composition of the 35-member Cabinet demonstrated Mugabe's apparent concern that his government, scheduled to take power soon following last week's landslide election victory, should lay to rest the bitterness and divisions after seven years of guerrilla war.
Mugabe gave four of the 22 ministry portfolios to members of the Patriotic Front party of Joshua Nkomo, his fellow guerrilla leader and now government coalition partner. Nkomo got the key position of home affairs minister, which includes control of the police and corresponds to the post of interior minister elsewhere.
David Smith, longtime finance minister under the governments of Ian Smith and Abel Muzorewa, was named minister of commerce and industry, while Dennis Norman, head of the white Commercial Farmers' Union, was given the post of agriculture minister.
The two appointments apparently were aimed at placating white fears of nationalizations and land seizures and seemed designed to carry out Mugabe's pledge not to make rapid change in the economy despite his avowed Marxist ideology.
Whites, 3 percent of the population, dominate business and agriculture, so the appointments should help to ease fears of major, sudden changes and also please Western governments and lending institutions that are expected to play a significant role in helping to restore the war-torn economy.
Having won 57 of the 100 parliamentary seats in the election, Mugabe could have confined the choice of the 22 ministers and 13 deputy ministers to his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union.
Instead he formed a coalition with Nkomo's Patriotic Front, which holds 20 seats. He then acceded to suggestions by the temporary British colonial administration that the minority whites, who have controlled the country for 90 years, be given a share of power.
So far, the moderation shown by Mugabe, long regarded by most whites as the one man they could not tolerate as prime minister, has pacified the minority community to the extent that there has been no noticeable white flight.
Mugabe presented his list of Cabinet appointments to the British governor, Lord Soames, who then formally appointed the nationalist leader prime minister. The Cabinet will be sworn in shortly but Mugabe's government will not attain power until formal independence, expected next month.
Aside from the four posts for Nkomo's party and two that went to whites, all other heads of ministries will be members of Mugabe's party. Two deputy ministers are Nkomo's men and the other 11 are Mugabe's.
Mugabe retained the Defense Ministery and thus will share responsibility for security with his fellow guerrilla leader, Nkomo.
Nkomo's appointment especially brings home the change the country will undergo. Just weeks ago, he was public enemy number one to most whites because the guerrilla organization shot down two civilian airliners in the last 18 months, killing more than 100 persons. Now Nkomo will be responsible for the 8,000-man police force and 35,000 reservists, a key element in protecting the population, both black and white.
Nkomo turned down the figurehead position of president before Mugabe gave him the Home Affairs Ministry. The president has not yet been selected.
Mugabe's Cabinet represents other major changes from the largely black government of Muzorewa that ruled briefly last year but with substantial elements of white control. The 24-member Muzorewa Cabinet included six whites, and the Rhodesian Front Party of Ian Smith, who led the country to unilateral declaration of independence in 1965, was part of what was called a government of national unity.
Mugabe has named two whites to his government in technocratic roles, but the Rhodesian Front will play no part in the government nor will it be able to greatly influence legislation, since the Mugabe-Nkomo alliance has 77 of the 100 seats.
David Smith, longtime vice president of the front, said he is remaining in the party and Ian Smith participated in the decision for him to join the Cabinet. David Smith, however, has frequently, if privately, criticized his party leader since the onset of last year's British-orchestrated negotiations in London which led to a peace agreement and elections.
Norman has never been a member of the Rhodesian Front, but both he and Smith did support its policies during the period of unilateral independence and did much to help circumvent the impact of international economic sanctions.
In other Cabinet positions, Mugabe rewarded many long-time party loyalists. Four members of the Central Committee dating back to the 1950s and early 1960s were given key posts.
Party Vice President Simon Mzenda was named deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. Enos Nkala, the only candidate to be banned from campaigning by Soames because of alleged inflammatory remarks, is to be finance minister despite having little experience in the field.
Sydney Sekeramayi will be minister of lands, resettlement and rural development, a key position because of African demands for redistribution of land since most of the more fertile property is owned by whites. The important Ministry of Mines, which oversees much of the country's potential export income, went to Morris Nyabumgo.
Edgar Tekere, the hard-line secretary general of Mugabe's party, will be minister of manpower planning and development, which will deal with serious unemployment problems. American-educated Eddison Zvobgo, who was Mugabe's spokesman at the London talks, was named minister of local government and housing.
Another American-educated politician, Nathan Shamuyarira, is to be minister of information. His book, "Crisis in Rhodesia," is still banned here as is the newspaper, African Times, that he edited.
The only woman minister is Teurai Nhongo, the wife of military commander Rex Nhongo. She is to be minister of youth and sports.
Many of the 20 black ministers are unknown to their countrymen. Only nine are listed in the major biography of nationalist leaders in Rhodesia.
"It's hard to tell how they will do," one observer said. "They haven't had any opportunity for experience -- they've been too busy fighting a war."