Tsvangirai, Mutambara reject Mugabe appointments

HARARE – ZIMBABWE’S power sharing government was rocked on Wednesday after President Robert Mugabe reappointed permanent secretaries without consulting coalition partners — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara

Tsvangirai and Mutambara held a joint press conference on Wednesday and declared that the appointments were void. The permanent secretaries in the various ministries who are all in acting capacities currently, will continue, they said.

The two leaders of rival MDC factions which went into a unity government with Mugabe’s Zanu PF are set to meet the veteran leader on Thursday morning to voice discord at the appointments which they say are a breach of the coalition agreement.

Both Tsvangirai and Mutambara insist their objection to Mugabe’s unilateral appointments will not lead to a pullout from government.

Nelson Chamisa, the national spokesman for Tsvangirai’s MDC said: “Mugabe has a dangerous habit of talking white and acting black. We strongly object to this flagrant breach of Constitutional Amendment 19 which demands that the President can only make senior appointments after consultations with his two deputies and the Prime Minister and his two deputies. That committee of six is provided for in the agreement, in section 20.1.7.”

Mugabe named 31 permanent secretaries for various ministries, with his Chief Secretary Misheck Sibanda indicating more appointments were on the way.

The permanent secretaries are essentially chief executives who oversee the implementation of policy and operations of the ministries. They report to the ministers. Source: Newzimbabwe.com