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Tsvangirai challenges ZANU-PF actions

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was caught by surprise when President Robert Mugabe reassigned a number of permanent secretaries without consulting him.

He said the move was illegal because Amendment 19 adopted to usher in the inclusive government clearly stated that the appointment of senior officials, including permanent secretaries was to be made by “the leadership in Government, comprising the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers” after consultation and agreement.

Tsvangirai said he was going to meet Mugabe over the issue.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE149, TSVANGIRAI CHALLENGES ZANU-PF ACTIONS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE149

2009-02-25 14:43

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI CHALLENGES ZANU-PF ACTIONS

 

1. (U) Today’s “The Herald” announced that Zimbabwean

president Robert Mugabe had reassigned a number of permanent

secretaries and would make additional appointments of

permanent secretaries in due course. Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai held a noon press conference, accompanied by

deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara, to address this and

other problematic issues.

 

2. (U) Tsvangirai said he had not been consulted about the

appointments. They were not legally made and were without

effect. (NOTE: Recently adopted Amendment 19 provides the

appointment of senior officials, including permanent

secretaries, to be made by “the leadership in Government,

comprising the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Prime

Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers” after consultation and

agreement. END NOTE.) He stated he would discuss this with

Mugabe tomorrow.

 

3. (U) Referring to the SADC Communique of January 27,

Tsvangirai said the appointments of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana, as

well as those of governors, should be dealt with immediately.

(NOTE: Tsvangirai’s position is that the appointments of

Gono and Tomana violated the September 15 Global Political

Agreement as they should have awaited the formation of the

new government. ZANU-PF and the MDC have agreed that six of

the 10 ZANU-PF governors should be replaced by five MDC-T

governors and one MDC-M governor, but this has not yet

occurred. END NOTE.)

 

4. (U) A spate of farm invasions has taken place within the

last few weeks. Tsvangirai said this was disruptive to

farming operations and the economy, and was in violation of

the rule of law. He was directing the Ministers of Home

Affairs to bring the weight of the law against those

responsible in order to end a “culture of impunity and

entitlement.”

 

5. (U) Turning to political detainees, Tsvangirai said he

had met with Mugabe last week and that the president had

agreed that those charged be released on bail, and that those

not charged be released unconditionally. The Attorney

General was “willfully obstructing” release of detainees by

abusing the appeals process.

 

6. (U) Tsvangirai concluded by saying that he was encouraged

by the momentum the government was developing toward finding

a solution to the country’s problems.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (SBU) Despite Mugabe’s “offer of friendship and

solidarity” to work with Tsvangirai made at Tsvangirai’s

inauguration, the appointment of permanent secretaries is a

provocative act which, combined with continued detentions, is

clear evidence of bad faith. While there are press reports

indicating that the MDC is considering pulling out of the

government in response, this does not appear, however, to be

the case. To his credit, Tsvangirai is confronting ZANU-PF

backsliding publicly and also directly with Mugabe. Whether

Tsvangirai can pressure ZANU-PF and Mugabe to respond

appropriately is another question. END COMMENT.

 

 

Q

MCGEE

(21 VIEWS)

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