24 July 2009: MDC-T In Mass Retreat

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he did not do it.

We are talking about the document quoted in the state mouthpiece, The Herald, yesterday, in which it was said he sought to usurp the powers of the president and cabinet, seeking to have ministers report to him, insisting that he should not have to report to Cabinet and so on.

The document drew a sharp rebuke from The Solution's office, with an unnamed official stating point blank that Tsvangirai is just a minister, albeit the most senior one, "But a minister all the same," says the source.

Now, reading today's story about Tsvangirai disowning the document, it is clear that the Prime Minister is blaming Tendai Biti.

The explanation given by Gorden Moyo, a Minister in the Prime Minister's office (Tsvangirai insisted on Ministers of State in his own office in an effort to try and feel on par with Mugabe, whose office houses several minister's of state) is very telling indeed.

And it is the explanation that reveals that Tsvangirai is blaming his Finance Minister and MDC-T Secretary-General:

Apparently, the document is very real, according to the PM's office. BUT, he says the document is simply a collection of submissions to the Council of Ministers (chaired by Tsvangirai) by three ministers who were the negotiators of the GPA signed on Septemer 15.

The three are Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube and Patrick Chinamasa.

So, consider this:

Of these three, who is likely to have forwarded submissions for the strengthening of Tsvangirai's office and bolstering of his powers? Who could possible submit that Tsvangirai should not have to report to Cabinet amongst these three gentlemen?

Who could possibly think it a good idea to have Ministers report to Tsvangirai instead of Mugabe and have Tsvangirai in turn report to Mugabe and Mugabe alone (not cabinet, as explained above)?

Jacob Zuma's father-in-law Welshman Ncube? ZANU PF "hardliner" Patrick Chinamasa? Or MDC-Tsvangirai Secretary General Tendai Biti?

The answer is obvious and it is not entirely clear why the Prime Minister is issuing statements that implicate his own comrade.

Next up is Nelson Chamisa, who now says the ICT bill he is said to have submitted to government and which the Secretary to the President and Cabinet refused to handle was NOT written by him.

Curiously, he admits that he is the one who submitted it to the Cabinet office, but that it was only handed to him after he was sworn into office in February. It was, says the MDC-T spokesman, written before the inauguration of the Inclusive Government.

He just submitted it and did not write it, is the position.

Which is a curious position to take, because this does not get him off the hook.

We all recall that Chamisa informed the media amidst much fanfare on 14 June this year that he was "finalising" the drafting of an ICT Bill that he would submit to cabinet as part of the MDC-PF wishlist, aka 100-day plan.

Even the Herald, amongst many other papers (including online papers, the Independent media) reported on his announcement.

Now, all of a sudden, he did not draft any such bill?

I smell a rat.

And I smell a retreat.

From all indications, the MDC-T is retreating on all fronts!!!

One more thing though: Nelson Chamisa seems to done well in one area and credit should really be given to him because Internet connectivity in Zimbabwe in the last few days has improved dramatically!!

We still get daily blackout in the late afternoon, from just after 5:00 p.m., but the improvement in the quality of connections is dramatic indeed.

I just hope it lasts.


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