Society - Southern Africa - Zimbabwe - Politics - Governance
Zimbabwe: Mugabe to replace MDC gov’t officials with ZANU-pf members
MDC announced two weeks ago that it was suspending cooperation with ZANU-pf
Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe would soon appoint acting ministers to carry out duties that MDC Cabinet members are refusing to discharge, a cabinet minister has said.

Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu is quoted by the state controlled Herald saying Mugabe is considering appointing caretaker ministers from his Zanu PF party.

According to the Herald, Shamu said the impending agricultural season increased the likelihood of Mugabe appointing acting ministers so that farmers would not be hampered in their preparations by MDC-T’s "disengagement" from the Government.

Shamu said: "With the agricultural season upon us, the issue of portfolio leadership at ministerial level has to be addressed by His Excellency the President as the Head of State and Government one way or the other.

"His Excellency may have to consider appointing ministers in an acting capacity to key ministries for the sake of a successful agricultural season and general economic turnaround... Important Cabinet decisions have to be translated into action expeditiously," he said.

The agriculture-related ministries headed by MDC appointees are Finance, Economic Planning, Energy and Water Resources among others. Shamu claimed that in his absence of Finance minister “our hands are tied to the detriment of expectant farmers. The rainy season is upon us and the season cannot wait for MDC-T to decide to reverse their decision.”

The MDC announced two weeks ago that it was suspending cooperation with Mugabe’s ZANU PF party over the latter’s refusal to abide by commitments it made in a power-sharing agreement signed in September 2008.

MDC says nationwide exercise to consult the party’s members on its future participation in the eight-month-old coalition government would end next Saturday, after which a decision would be made on whether to remain in the power-sharing regime or not.

The inclusive government has been rocked by sharp differences with Mugabe’s ZANU PF over policy and political reforms.

Tsvangirai embarked on a diplomatic offensive last week to garner support among members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who are the guarantors of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing pact.

He met Mozambican President and chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Armando Guebuza as well as South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and the Democratic Republic of Congo leader Joseph Kabila, who holds the rotating SADC chair until the next summit of the regional bloc scheduled for August or September 2010.

A SADC Troika meeting is scheduled for Harare on Thursday to discuss Zimbabwe’s crisis.