Mbeki expected in Zimbabwe as unity government hangs in the balance

HARARE – Former South African leader, Thabo Mbeki is expected in Zimbabwe this week to help in interpreting the Global Political Agreement (GPA) as it emerged that the three political parties were failing to agree on the allocation of permanent secretaries and provincial governors.

Sources said though the three principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara are meeting Monday to resolve the impasse, it was clear the former South African leader would come to solve the problem threatening to tear apart the two months old Government of National Unity.

Mbeki was appointed Zimbabwe mediator by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) in March last year and was instrumental in the signing of the GPA in September last year.

Sources said Mugabe had told Tsvangirai and Mutambara during Thursday’s meeting that he can make decision without consulting anyone of the two. Mugabe also told Tsvangirai and Mutambara that he had powers to make Cabinet appointments and can change ministries.

Sources said Tsvangirai had complained to Mugabe that he cannot usurp the powers of Information, Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa. But Mugabe is insisting that he has those powers, sources said.

Mbeki himself feels he was the victim of phone tapping when he was President of South Africa and tapes allegedly involving him and his henchmen connving to nail Zuma have since led to Zuma’s case collapsing and so Mbeki might not support MDC-T’s efforts to reclaim Nelson Chamisa’s Communications functions.

Mugabe is also adamant that the posts of Attorney General and Governor of the Reserve Bank are not negotiable.  Tsvangirai and Mutambara argue that AG Johannes Tomana and central bank chief Gideon Gono should be relieved of their duties since their appointments were improper.

But Mugabe is adamant that the two appointments were made before the formation of the inclusive government and hence should not be contested.