MDC capitulates on Permanent Secretaries appointments

HARARE – President Mugabe and leaders of the MDC formations Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara have agreed to retain all the Permanent Secretaries the President had appointed in February.\r\n

The three leaders met after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting and agreed to retain all the Permanent Secretaries while more appointments of Principal Directors from the suggestions of the MDC formations will be announced soon.

In a statement yesterday, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said the appointments were in terms of the Constitution as amended through Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Act, which gave birth to the inclusive Government.

"The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet wishes to announce that in terms of Section 20.1.7 of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as amended through Constitutional Amendment Number 19, and with the agreement of the Executive Management of the Inclusive Government, senior Government officials have been reassigned and/or appointed by His Excellency the President . . .," reads Dr Sibanda’s statement.

Mr Elias Mutowo who is the Permanent Secretary for State Enterprises and Parastatals was the only new appointment.

President Mugabe had not appointed a Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of State Enterprises and Parastatals in February when he made the appointments.

President Mugabe has also appointed five new Principal Directors — Dr Vincent Gwaradzimba (Agritex, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development), Mr Munyaradzi Munodawafa (Energy and Power Development), Professor Paul Mavhima (Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara’s Office), Mr Joseph Mhakayakora (Public Works) and Dr Elizabeth Marunda (Education, Sport, Arts and Culture).

"Further announcements will be made on the remaining reassignments and/or appointments once the ongoing consultations on the same have been finalised," Dr Sibanda said.

Government sources yesterday said the three leaders discussed the matter on Tuesday in the presence of Dr Sibanda and the chairman of the Public Service Commission Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah.

"They went through all the Permanent Secretaries person by person, case by case and ministry by ministry and it was found that the people suggested by the MDC formations did not have the requisite qualifications or experience or that the experience they had was such that they deserved to join the Public Service at levels below that of Permanent Secretaries," sources said.

The sources said more appointments of Principal Directors would be made soon and the incumbents would be picked from suggestions of the MDC formations.

According to the sources, the hotly contested Ministries were Media, Information and Publicity, Lands and Rural Resettlement, Health and Child Welfare and Mines and Mining Development.

An official in Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s office confirmed the party principals met on Tuesday but said he was not privy to the agreements reached.

"I can confirm the meeting was held and the principals discussed the outstanding issues, what they agreed is a question of conjecture," said the official.

The appointment of Permanent Secretaries was one of the issues raised by the MDC-T as outstanding matters

under the Global Political Agreement.

The MDC-T at the weekend resolved that the outstanding issues should be referred to Sadc and the African Union although the leaders of the parties to the power sharing agreement had not declared a deadlock.

Zanu-PF and the MDC described the MDC-T’s move as premature given that no deadlock had been declared.

Sadc and the AU could arbitrate in a situation where the parties have declared a deadlock.

Before his party took the resolution to refer the matter to Sadc and the AU, MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai had indicated that there was progress in resolving the outstanding issues with agreements already reached on 95 percent of them and an announcement was due soon.

The other outstanding issues are the appointment of ambassadors, provincial governors and the status of Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. The Herald