These are the two men who have been humiliated by Mugabe in the last two days. Day before yesterday, it Tendai Biti who was forced to eat humble pie and live with Gideon Gono. Yesterday, it was Nelson Chamisa who was stripped of all the most important elements of his ministry
There really is no other way to put it: Robert Mugabe today essentially disemboweled Nelson Chamisa, gutting his ministry into a shell and hiving off Telephone and cellphone companies and their regulatory bodies to a ZANU PF heavyweight minister.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is being systematically cut down to size by President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe quietly announced the "redefining" of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, which Nelson Chamisa is in charge of. He sent the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Mugabe is in charge of cabinet while Tsvangirai is in charge of the Council of Ministers), to tell the ministers how their turfs were now defined.
You will recall that Chamisa clashed with Webster Shamu, the ZANU PF minister at the Ministry of Information and Publicity when both men tried to address workers at the cellphone company owned by government, NetOne.
Immediately after this, Permanent Secretaries were also announced.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai called a press conference at which he declared the appointments null and void. He also announced at the same press conference that he was going to set out the areas of contention in the ministries of communication. Tsvangirai also expressly said the government-owned parastatals would fall under Chamisa.
In fact, Tsvangirai also announced that it was his job to define the job descriptions of cabinet ministers and said this is exactly what he was going to do.This, the Prime Minister has repeated on at least three separate occasions.
He did no such thing, obviously. Mugabe has once again asserted his authority over the Prime Minister. He himself decided to take the Department of Communications away from Nelson Chamisa, the MDC minister of Information and Communication Technology.
In essence, by taking this bit away from him, Mugabe has taken TelOne, the phone company, Netone, the cellphone company and the regulating bodies for the communication industry out of the ambit of the MDC.
Which means that Nelson Chamisa is now a minister in charge of shops that sell cellphones, phone shops and computer shops. Even the matter of the Internet has now been taken out of his hands.
And no, Mugabe has not given the Department of Communications to Webster Shamu, the ZANU PF communications minister. It goes instead to a heavyweight in ZANU PF, Nicholas Goche, who was one of the ZANU PF negotiators in the talks that led to the formation of this government.
Goche is the minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development.
Do you now understand that we have three ministers in charge of essentially the one industry. Each of them gets a US dollar salary, a Mercedes Benz, unlimited fuel allocation, an office, secretary and staff, all with their own running costs.
Jobs were indeed created for the boys. But we wander....
Back to this story, this disemboweling of Nelson Chamisa. It goes back again to the issue of control, power. That is what this government is preoccupied with while this country burns, while no water flows through taps, while cholera roams the rubbish-strewn streets of our cities like The Grim Reaper, while the health system collapses.
Mugabe was never going to allow the instruments of eavesdropping, wiretapping and spying fall into the hands of the MDC. They are a junior partner and had to be put in their place.
And all of a sudden, the Prime Minister is quiet. He did brief his spokesman, James Maridadi on the position of his office today, in case the media asked. That position is that, "there has to be give and take, in the spirit of inclusivity." You will almost exactly these words when the MDC justifies its capitulation yet again.
This disemboweling of Nelson Chamisa is only a chapter in the book that is being written now as it is lived. There is still the little matter of Permanent Secretaries to come. And then some.
That score now reads: Robert Mugabe 2 Morgan Tsvangirai 0
With all this going on, the Prime Minister is satisfied enough with his role to want to make the arrangement permanent, making deals with Robert Mugabe to divide this country like their cake?