Mugabe succumbs to PM’s pressures on appointments

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President Robert Mugabe has agreed to reverse the appointment of senior civil servants and is to revisit the much-contested appointments of Reserve Bank governor and the attorney general following complaints by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Mugabe met Tsvangirai and Mutambara, his fellow signatories to the Global Political Agreement that saw the formation of an inclusive government, on Monday, seeking a resolution to disputes over the appointment of permanent secretaries, governors, ambassadors and other key staff including the Attorney General and Reserve Bank Governor. According to the political settlement, the three leaders are to equitably fill the positions.

Mugabe however, shocked all and sundry when he unilaterally made the appointments last week. Tsvangirai immediately held a Press conference where he described the appointments as null and void.

PM Tsvangirai’s spokesman, James Maridadi has been quoted in local media as saying the process of identifying potential candidates for all senior government posts has started.

It is believed Tsvangirai will consult with Mugabe on the final list before the new appointments are made public. In the spirit of their political agreement, the principals also agreed to revisit Mugabe’s reappointment of Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, and Attorney General Johannes Tomana which Tsvangirai and Mutambara both want reversed.

Sources say Tsvangirai has requested from the Public Service Commission all CVs of current permanent secretaries and those that were appointed last week, but whose appointments have now been nullified. Officials from the MDC have also sent in their CVs to be considered for the senior positions.

It is thought that the principals were leaning on a process that will ensure that where a minister is from Zanu PF, a permanent secretary will also be appointed from within Zanu PF ranks. If the minister is from the MDC, then the permanent secretary will also be from the MDC.

Tsvangirai has also requested information regarding the procedures used when appointing ambassadors and junior diplomatic postings. The Prime Minister wrote a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi last week, asking about the number of diplomats posted outside the country.

Tsvangirai also wants to know how long each ambassador has been posted abroad; when they are due back home and how many times each diplomat had been posted outside the country since joining the ministry.

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