THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Inclusive government - Index of articles

  • Provincial Governors – Bill Watch 18 / 2009
    May 28, 2009

    PM’s Press Conference on Outstanding IPA Issues [Thursday 21st May]

    This statement was headed as the Prime Minister’s Statement but Mr Tsvangirai made it clear that he was talking on behalf of two principals [party presidents] to the IPA – himself as MDC-T and Mr Mutambara [MDC-M]. [Electronic version of PM’s statement available on request.]

    The Prime Minister announced that the three party principals had reached agreement on five issues:

    Provincial Governors – ZANU-PF would keep 4, 5 would go to MDC-T and 1 to MDC-M. The six new provincial governors would be sworn in at the soonest opportunity. The MDC-T have already named their nominees. He said it had been agreed that compensation would be paid to the six outgoing ZANU-F governors. [Note: Under the Provincial Councils and Administration Act the President can remove a governor from office at any time. Compensation is not usually given for loss of a political office such as this.]

    Permanent Secretaries – those in place [appointed by the President, 25th February] were “suitable in terms of experience and qualifications”. Civil servants should not be appointed on a partisan basis, so there would be “no civil servant from the MDC or ZANU-PF”. “Any civil servant who participates in partisan politics will have no place in our public service” and appropriate measures would be put in place to ensure that.

    Ambassadors – MDC would submit names of individuals to be trained for ambassadorial appointments, and future appointments would be made using a formula to be agreed on. Five already existing vacancies would be filled in the ratio MDC-T 4, MDC-M 1.

    Ministerial mandates – the functions of the “communications portfolio” would be shared. The Minister of Information Communication Technology [Nelson Chamisa, MDC-T] would retain responsibility for the Postal and Telecommunications Act, Potraz, Telone, Netone and Zimpost. The Minister of Media Information and Publicity [Webster Shamu, ZANU-PF] would be responsible for the Broadcasting Act and Transmedia. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development [Nicholas Goche, ZANU-PF] would administer the Interception of Communications Act.

    Roy Bennett – would be sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture

    He said a deadlock remained on the appointments of the Governor of the Reserve Bank and the Attorney-General, and these are being referred to SADC as the guarantor of the Global Political Agreement.

    The statement expressed concern about “continuing violations of the rule of law”, referring in particular to “some of our citizens taking the law into their own hands with respect to the land reform programme”.

    The statement did not specifically refer to the position of the political abductees, who face High Court trials in June and July. [In response to a question on his statement the Prime Minister expressed disapproval of recent arrests of journalists and lawyers.]

    In the statement he claimed there had been progress, citing the gathering momentum of the constitutional process and the Kariba media conference’s recommendation that AIPPA be repealed. He noted that there is no legal obligation on journalists to seek accreditation until the new Zimbabwe Media Commission is put in place, which would be as soon as possible.

    President’s Spokesman had a Different Story on Provincial Governors

    The President’s spokesman, George Charamba [Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity] was reported in the State press as having said on Saturday that the President intends to consult the ZANU-PF Politburo before an agreement on the appointment of the provincial governors is effected. The formula Mr Charamba gave was: ZANU-PF 5, MDC-T 4, MDC-M 1 [different from the formula stated by the Prime Minister]. He said that the incumbent governors would complete a year of their two-year term before stepping down – that year would end in August, after which the new governors would be sworn in. He also said the two MDC formations had indicated they would provide funds to compensate those governors not continuing. [Comment: this seems extraordinary, seeing that the MDC position is that the appointments were contrary to the MOU and the IPA.]

    On appointment of diplomats Mr Charamba said much the same as the Prime Minister. On permanent secretaries he merely confirmed that agreement had been reached. He did not mention Roy Bennett or the division of the “communications portfolio” between different Ministries.

    President’s Comment on the Position of Reserve Bank Governor Gono

    Early in the week, President Mugabe said at a funeral service for Mr Gono’s brother that clamouring for Mr Gono’s dismissal was a waste of time. “Even in the country, in the inclusive government, there are people who do not want him. They want him to go. I say he will not go.” A day later, speaking at the burial, Justice Minister Chinamasa and Air Vice Marshal Muchena also made strong statements against Mr Gono’s removal. Mr Chinamasa was reported to have said that those calling for Mr Gono’s removal were in effect demanding the ouster of ZANU-PF.

    [Comment: It is unfortunate that power struggles between the parties are occupying the government’s energies to the detriment of solving the problems affecting the country. On the other hand it is difficult to go ahead with many of the turnaround plans while there are these issues blocking their implementation. Resolution of the Reserve Bank question, restoration of the rule of law and instituting law reform are major conditions of aid and need to be dealt with rapidly. Most people just want to see an amelioration in their living conditions.

    Failure of National Security Council to meet

    There has been public concern over the fact that the National Security Council [NSC], has not met – while press reports state that the Joint Operations Command [JOC] it was meant to replace still meets the President regularly. Under the Zimbabwe National Security Council Act, which became law on the 4th March, the Council must meet at least once in every calendar month at a time directed by the President in consultation with the Prime Minister. When asked about the NSC at his press conference, the Prime Minister said it had not met because key members had been engaged on other duties at relevant times. [The establishment of the NSC was part of the IPA and a condition, endorsed by SADC, for MDC participation in the Inclusive Government. That is why the National Security Council Bill was fast-tracked through Parliament on 10th February ahead of the swearing-in of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers the following day.]

    Update on Parliament

    The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has not met again, so has not yet reached a decision on its subcommittee’s recommendation that advertisements should be published calling for applications from persons wishing to be nominated by CSRO for appointment to the Media Commission, Human Rights Commission, Electoral Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission. There is pressure for progress on this; the Prime Minister at his press conference said the Media Commission would be established as soon as possible.

    The Select Committee on the Constitution had a budget workshop last week.

    Portfolio committees met on the 18th and 19th May to finalise workplans. They will not be meeting again while Parliament is adjourned, although in the past this has been normal practice. The reason given was shortage of money.

    The Parliamentary Legal Committee has not met for the same reason.

    Administration Workshop for senior Parliamentary officials was held in Nyanga this week.

    Parliamentary Women’s Caucus The Women’s Caucus has elected its Chairperson: Biata Nyamupinga [MP for Goromonzi West, ZANU-PF]. This election was queried by the ZANU-PF runner-up but has now been confirmed. The deputy chairperson is Keresenzia Chabuka [Senator for Mutare, MDC-T] There are 55 women parliamentarians, all members of the Women’s Caucus: ZANU-PF 33, MDC-T 21, MDC-M 1.

    Update on Legislation

    No new Bills were gazetted this week.

    The Appropriation (2008) (Additional) Bill has not yet been gazetted as an Act, although it was passed by Parliament on 24th March. The delay in gazetting is curious, as the other two Bills passed by Parliament on the same day – the Finance Act and the Appropriation (2009) Act – were gazetted on 23rd April.

    Statutory Instruments

    The Environmental Management (Atmospheric Pollution Control) Regulations [SI 72/2009] were gazetted and came into force on 22nd May. The regulations provide for emission standards for motor vehicles and various activities and processes. There is also a section dealing with payment of carbon tax on fuel which may be invalid for inconsistency with the Income Tax Act. Previous regulations made under the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act are repealed.

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.