Mandaza Challenges Moyo to prove cabinet has met in the last nine weeks

CABINET transacts its business in private in line with the established conventions the world over as opposed to Parliament, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda has said.

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Sibanda was responding to a NewsDay story yesterday indicating that Cabinet last met on January 27 because of President Robert Mugabe’s frequent foreign trips. Mugabe chairs Cabinet meetings, which are traditionally held on Tuesdays. But, in a statement last night, Sibanda said Mugabe has often fixed alternative days in the same week, for meetings, “as has been the case on a couple of occasions”.

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“After all, the Cabinet Office has been advising Cabinet members of the alternative days and dates for holding of the rescheduled Cabinet meetings through the public media,” Sibanda said.

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“In any case, unlike Parliament whose business is carried out in public, Cabinet transacts its business in private in line with the established conventions, the world over. We, therefore, appeal to our media houses to respect the basic tenets of their profession and to desist from engaging in the deliberate distortion of facts.”

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Earlier, Information minister Jonathan Moyo struggled to defend Mugabe’s globetrotting errands which have resulted in Cabinet failing to meet in nine successive weeks including yesterday. Instead, Moyo made frantic efforts on his Twitter account to discredit without success NewsDay’s report which exposed that Cabinet last met on January 27 this year.

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He claimed that ministers have been meeting every Monday without Mugabe, but did not disclose when and how many times they had met. Moyo’s claims were at variance with assertions by other Zanu PF ministers who insisted that only Mugabe had the powers to convene Cabinet meetings citing a case where former Vice-President Joice Mujuru last year attempted to address the ministers in the absence of Mugabe and they boycotted her. Zanu PF politburo members also spurned a meeting called by Mujuru sparking allegations that she wanted to usurp Mugabe’s powers.

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However, political analyst Ibbo Mandaza yesterday challenged Moyo to prove to the nation that Cabinet had sat in the past nine weeks. “The ball is in his court to prove with a single Cabinet decision that was made in the past nine weeks. The country has to know,” Mandaza said.