Robert Mugabe is struggling to name his cabinet, deal under threat
HARARE – Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's prime minister within the next two days, while President Robert Mugabe has delayed announcing his cabinet because of internal party feuds.
"There is anarchy in the party, they want to kill him", our source revealed, warning that Mugabe’s life was now in danger. The same source also revealed that, former ZAPU members in government have requested "to have a word" with Mugabe but he has refused to meet them.
The historic power-sharing deal, which was mediated by President Thabo Mbeki, will see Tsvangirai with some authority in charge of the council of ministers.
The council will technically supervise cabinet decisions and drive implementation of policy, but Mugabe retains executive powers as president, with some indirect veto from the prime minister.
The deal was signed at the Harare International Conference Centre by Tsvangirai, Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara of the smaller faction of the MDC, who will be sworn in as deputy prime minister.
The three leaders will decide on cabinet posts this week.
Sources told the The Zimbabwe Mail in Harare on Monday that Mugabe had, since Saturday, met Tsvangirai and Mutambara three times in a bid to name cabinet ministers.
According to the power-sharing deal, Zanu-PF has been allocated 15 ministries, MDC 13 and Mutambara’s MDC three.
Negotiations were still under way by late on Monday.
Mugabe was trying to strike a balance between accommodating new "performing" ministers from his own Zanu-PF part, and dropping loyalists.
A top government official said: "The cabinet was supposed to have been announced, but Mugabe has asked for more time because he finds himself in a situation where it is becoming difficult to screen his people. He is used to a situation where he would appoint more than 25 ministers and he would accommodate everybody but the ball game has changed. He has to make painful decisions.
"Remember, he also attacked his current cabinet as the worst he has ever worked with and would make changes."
The Zimbabwe Mail understands that Zanu-PF will get the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of State Security, while the MDC is said to have grabbed the ministries of Home Affairs and Finance.
This will allow the MDC to control the notorious Zimbabwean Republic Police and be in charge of economic recovery projects.
On Monday Tsvangirai also unveiled his economic and financial plans to extricate Zimbabwe from its economic quagmire.
Sources said negotiators from the three political parties had been guaranteed ministerial posts, with the unelected ones expected to be appointed senators in order to join the cabinet.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai were still fighting for the powerful Information Ministry post, which controls state media.
Zimbabwe does not have an independent daily newspaper or commercial TV. There is the state-run Herald and the loathed ZBC.
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said his party was happy with the deal despite criticism that they had legitimised Mugabe’s rule.
"This was a negotiation process and in a negotiation you give and take… We want national healing and not personal interests. It was the best deal under the circumstances."
However, on Monday leaders emphasised that economic recovery was the acid test for the fragile deal.
Mbeki is said to be putting in place measures to ensure that the deal will not collapse.
Sources said Mbeki was preparing to extend a $1-billion facility to Zimbabwe to kick-start its recovery while at the same time persuading the West to assist in rebuilding an economy.