- East Africa
Mugabe’s minister says MDC better off than Kenya’s ODM
Zanu PF hard-liners say Morgan Tsvangirai should accept cabinet posts he was given by Robert Mugabe since those posts were "better than what Raila Odinga [of Kenya’s ODM party] got."
George Charamba, Mugabe’s personal spokesperson today told the official herald that, "The fact is that the opposition here was in close liaison with the Kenyan prime minister and many people were trying to use the Kenyan settlement as a model for Zimbabwe,"
"If we are to go by that, there should be no question marks about why Zanu-PF got the ministries it received, such as defence and foreign affairs and all the other ones because that is what essentially happened in Kenya. People said the Kenyan model was good and I would like to believe that here in Zimbabwe we have bettered it," Charamba said.
Charamba says there can never be a perfect agreement, but there certainly can be a better one and this is a good deal for all the parties involved.
“ Odinga has a parliamentary majority, he allowed or perhaps even encouraged his supporters to go on a rampage and in the chaos that ensued over 2 000 people were murdered. But even after all that he still has less cabinet seats than those accorded to the president’s party, the PNU."
Charamba, who reportedly helped Mugabe unilaterally appoint the cabinet in violation of the GNU tenets, urged the MDC to embrace the new cabinet. Charamba was quick to bring up the flawed March 29 election results that were manipulated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as a justification for the Mugabe power grab.
"In Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai does not have the popular vote that Odinga had," he added. He brought up the violence ridden June 27 election results as a justification for ZANU-Pf to be given all key cabinet posts.
Charamba defended Mugabe’s decision to appoint a cabinet without consulting the MDC.
"There is nothing in either document that strips him of this executive function. The agreement itself makes it clear that the President shall allocate and appoint ministers after consultation with the parties. There is nothing that says he does this in consultation with them."
Analysts says it is difficult to see the arrival of Mbeki making a difference on the outcome of the cabinet talks. The question is how much Tsvangirai will give in to ZANU-PF demands, not how much power Mugabe will give up as he has no plans of doing that.