Mugabe Rejects All Candidates For Media Commission As Mahoso Bounces Back As Chairman

Robert Mugabe is set to reappoint Tafataona Mahoso (above) as Media Commission chair when he appoints a new commission. Mugabe has rejected all the names submitted to him by parliament. Instead, he has now asked the other parties to forward their nominations, leaving parliament out of the process altogether.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 16 August 2009

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has rejected all names forwarded to him for inclusion on the new Media Commission.

Instead, Mugabe has ordered that the three parties in the Inclusive forward nominations for the posts of Commissioners in the new commission.

It also emerges that Mugabe has decided that once this is done, he will again surprise the MDC by reappointing Tafataona Mahoso as Chairman for the new body.

Although the parties will nominate Commissioners, it is up to Mugabe to decide the composition, including appointing a Commission Chairman. He still insists that this is his sole prerogative as Head of State and that he does not need anyone else's approval to make these decisions.

When it suits him, Mugabe tells Morgan Tsvangirai that civil servants "are apolitical" and should not be appointed on the basis of their political affiliation.

He did this with Permanent Secretaries and Tsvangirai accepted it.

But now that this stance does not suit him, he is nakedly turning around and specifically asking for these commissioners to be appointed on political grounds?

And Tsvangirai also accepts this as well.

For those who do not know, the process of appointing Commissioners was thrown into disarray two weeks ago when ZANU PF complained that those who were doing the interviewing and scoring of candidates were MDC sympathisers.

ZANU PF officials gave interviews in which they complained that the interviewing panel had deliberately failed candidates seen as ZANU PF people. They complained that the MDC-T had hijacked the process and that even the "experts: in Human Resources brought in to help were also MDC-T people who were working in the interests of Morgan Tsvangirai.

So, this is Mugabe's response.

Which means the process is now definitely in limbo while Mugabe waits for names from his partners in government. Once he gets them, he will obviously sit on them for some time before making the final decision and announcing the new commission.

Meantime, today, the State media is celebrating the fact that "Daily News will have to wait" to be licenced, "because there is no body to licence newspapers" until this new Commission is in place.

Mugabe is still of the opinion that the MDC was helped to gain support in the urban areas especially by the Daily News which, at its peak was much more popular than the state's own Herald newspaper.

This also means that even Newsday, the paper planned for launch by Trevor Ncube of the Zimbabwe Independent, will also have to cool its heels until Mugabe is good ready.

Again Mugabe is playing for time. And again, he is getting away with it. Because Morgan Tsvangirai is letting him.


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