Our news editor Constantine Chimakure on Wednesday posed questions to Minister of State in Tsvangirai’s office, Gorden Moyo, on these and other issues. Below are the excerpts. Chimakure: Is the inclusive government functioning as one unit?
Moyo: Coalitions by their very nature are a difficult proposition not only in the African continent but the world over. Certainly ours is not an exception but I must hasten to say we are working under extraordinary circumstances with extraordinary political gladiators.
But within a short space of time, the progress we have registered, the scores we have made and the successes achieved clearly show our commitment as the inclusive government to deliver to the people of Zimbabwe. The inclusive government is a mixed grill.
However, it has worked in bringing about a positive difference to the people of Zimbabwe. So far (there is) Sterp, the 100-Day Plan, Budget Review, Aid Coordination Policy, Engagement Policy, and Investment Framework, the hosting of the Comesa Summit, the launch of the constitution-making process, the launch of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration and quite recently government has come up with a Government Works Programme. The government is functioning.
However, this does not mean that there are no challenges.
Chimakure: Is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in charge of all ministers and how many Ministerial Council meetings have taken place since the formation of the inclusive government and what came out of them?
Moyo: The GPA Article 20 is very clear about the role and the mandate of the prime minister of the Republic.
The prime minister is in charge of all the ministers and ministries with respect to policy formulation which he oversees through cabinet. For policy implementation, which he presides over directly with the assistance of the deputy prime ministers. The Council of Ministers meets on a bi-weekly basis to consider issues to be taken to cabinet and to monitor progress on the implementation of government policy.
As regards what has come out of the Council of Ministers meetings, please be advised that I cannot discuss the issues of council of Ministers in the media. But of course you will be glad to know that all government programmes go through the council.
Chimakure: Is it true that there is a parallel government structure in the prime minister’s office being bankrolled by the World Bank?
Moyo: The repetition of a lie does not make it true. I have heard and read about this fictitious notion of a parallel government before. I know not of any parallel government but if it does exist, then it is composed of those “elements” that are practising selective arrests of MPs, inciting disruptions on farms and in schools, and promoting hate language in the media. A lie by its nature has no legs.
In fact, how does a prime minister run something parallel to himself? It can only be suggested by people who have not read the GPA or read it and not understood it or read it, understood it but are deliberately mischievous in misleading and misinforming the nation.
We have seen such characters rearing their ugly heads, trying to sow seeds of acrimony on the back of falsehoods, lies and half-truths. It is a very serious offence according to the laws of Zimbabwe particularly if one is using acres of space in state media, using taxpayers money, to divide civil servants.
Chimakure: Explain the World Bank arrangement to pay some of the officers in the Prime Minister’s office, instead of all government civil servants?
Moyo: The Prime Minister’s Office has a staff compliment of only 11 people of which only three have had their appointments and contracts as government workers formalised by the Public Service Commission. These three receive government salaries like all other civil servants while those who are awaiting appointment are struggling like other Zimbabweans.
For the record, there is no arrangement for the World Bank to pay civil servants in the Prime Minister’s Office. The only scheme that I know is that of technical assistance. This facility of technical assistance by the World Bank is available to all government ministries.
To date, the Prime Minister’s Office has benefited from this facility through the consultants seconded to organise and facilitate the two government retreats. I think you will need to talk to the World Bank itself to get clarification.
Chimakure: You have reportedly said sanctions do not exist, why is it Mugabe and the Prime Minister tasked you last month to come up with a position paper on the matter when you say they don’t exist?
Moyo: There are no trade sanctions in Zimbabwe. There are only targeted sanctions against certain individuals. Therefore what I have said is that not everybody buys this notion that there are sanctions in Zimbabwe.
In fact others believe that there are only restrictive measures. Actually the GPA itself refers to both sanctions and targeted measures in Article 4.
This therefore shows that there are various narratives that need to be reconciled. That is why there is desire in government to open a frank and honest debate in order to create a shared understanding on the issue of restrictive measures/sanctions.
It is hoped that this debate will set the stage for Zimbabwe’s reunion with the rest of the international community, inform and illuminate the re-engagement strategy of the inclusive government and inspire the government to do everything within its powers to end Zimbabwe’s international isolation.
Zimbabweans want the delivery of real change and not justifications and explanations for failure to deliver.
Chimakure: Can this inclusive government hold on given the non-conclusion of sticking points and the growing list of fresh negative matters?
Moyo: The GPA belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. Its success or otherwise is a matter squarely in the province of the people of Zimbabwe. (The Independent)