In remarks clearly designed to show South African President and regional chairman Jacob Zuma that any attempts to push for ZANU PF and MDC to share the two key posts will be resisted, a top official of Mugabe’s party said a dispute over the two appointments was an internal matter for Zimbabwe’s unity government to resolve.
ZANU PF deputy spokesman Ephraim Masawi said the party considered the issue of Western sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle a more urgent matter than who should be the country’s central banker or attorney general.
“As ZANU PF those are internal issues that must be solved between the President, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister. What is hurting us most are sanctions,” Masawi told ZimOnline.
“We think the Gono (Gideon, central bank chief) and Tomana (Johannes, attorney general) issues are not very serious issues because in any case any appointed person can never be independent,” he added.
Reports by South African media this week suggested that Zuma, who met Tsvangirai in Johannesburg last week to discuss the deadlock over the two top posts and other problems holding back Zimbabwe’s unity government, was expected to visit Harare to push for a resolution of the issues.
The reports said Zuma would pressure Mugabe, who gave the central bank and attorney general’s jobs to Gono and Tomana without consulting his coalition partners, to agree to give one of the two posts to Tsvangirai’s MDC party.
Zuma is expected to visit Zimbabwe in response to an invitation from the Zimbabwean government, but an official state visit is not yet on the cards. ?
The South African President is considered more sympathetic to Tsvangirai but he will next month step down as chairman of the Southern African Development Community with Mugabe ally and Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila assuming the rotating regional chair.
Zimbabwe’s unity government has done well to stabilise the economy and end inflation that was estimated at more than a trillion percent at the height of the country’s economic meltdown last year.
But doubts remain about the administration’s long-term effectiveness, fuelled by unending squabbles between ZANU PF and the MDC as well as by the unity government’s inability to secure direct financial support from rich Western nations. – ZimOnline