Zimbabwe power deal to scrap CIO ministry
HARARE – Zimbabwe's ministry of state security will be scrapped under a power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, according to a list of government departments they agreed on Saturday.
A government official said the two met and agreed on a list of 31 ministries, including 13 new ones.
The powerful ministry of state security was abolished, while the justice ministry was split into two, with a new prisons department, according to the list which was obtained by Reuters.
Details of the ministries allocated to each party and individuals to head the ministries would be announced on Monday.
The issue of who controls Zimbabwe’s powerful security apparatus is one of the most critical questions surrounding the power-sharing deal clinched on Thursday.
But with the ministry’s abolition, it remained unclear how the secret police — a key instrument in maintaining Mugabe’s 28-year grip on power — would be integrated into the new government structure, and under whose authority.
"At the moment it is unclear what will happen to state security but I am sure this is something that is being worked by the two men (Mugabe and Tsvangirai). I am sure it will have a home, it is a matter of time before we know," a senior government official said.
Earlier, an opposition official said Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was pushing to head the home affairs, justice and finance ministries but was willing to leave Mugabe’s ZANU-PF in charge of security and defence.
Such an arrangement would give the MDC control over the police and responsibility for rescuing an economy reeling from the world’s highest rate of hyper-inflation, more than 11 million percent.
Thursday’s South African-brokered deal is aimed at ending months of crisis in Zimbabwe, where Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the first round of a presidential election in March, but pulled out of a June run-off citing a systematic campaign of violence against his supporters.
ZANU-PF’s top decision-making body, the politburo, endorsed the power-sharing deal at a meeting chaired by Mugabe in Harare on Saturday, a politburo member told Reuters.
An opposition senator said on Friday Tsvangirai would be prime minister and chair a council of ministers that supervised the cabinet under the power-sharing deal.
ZANU-PF would have 15 cabinet seats, Tsvangirai’s MDC 13 and a splinter MDC faction three seats.
There is widespread caution among commentators over how quickly the power-sharing deal can end the crisis or persuade Western powers — deeply opposed to Mugabe — to step in with much needed financial support to aid recovery.
Mugabe, 84, has repeatedly called the MDC a puppet of the West and political analysts said the deal was fragile.
Writing in the state-run Herald newspaper, Nathaniel Manheru — thought to be a pseudonym for a senior Mugabe aide — said the MDC was now an "embedded" enemy and that ZANU-PF should be on guard.
"For a party that has always relied on government and intellect for policy incubation, it (ZANU-PF) now has to learn to govern in a new environment where the enemy is now within, well embedded," Manheru said.
"The West will now have an eager listening post, right up to cabinet. There will be lots of policy pre-emption." Zimbabweans are desperate for an end to a crisis that has ravaged the economy and pushed millions of refugees into neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday agreed on a list of 31 cabinet portfolios under their power-sharing deal, abolishing the ministry of state security.
At least 13 new ministries were created while some existing ones were integrated. The previous cabinet had 32 ministers, including eight ministers of state.
Below is the new list, with new ministries asterisked **
– – – –
Education, Sports, Arts and Culture
Health and Child Welfare
Higher and Tertiary Education
Local Government, Urban and Rural Development
Mines and Mining Development
Industry and Commerce
**Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement
Energy and Power Development
Science and Technology Development
Water Resources and Management
**Regional Integration and International Trade
**Labour and Social Services
**Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism
Justice and Legal Affairs
**Prisons and Correctional Services
Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development
**Economic Planning and Investment Promotion
**Information Communication Technology
**Media, Information and Publicity
**State Enterprises and Parastatals
**National Housing and Social Amenities
Small, Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development
**Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment