Mugabe Bans MDC Appointees From Entering Government Buildings

The laughter has now died between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, with the announcement today that people hired by the MDC element of the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe will be barred from entering government buildings and handling state papers. Mugabe has unilaterally decided to resolve one of his own "outstanding issues" without any agreement with the MDC-Tsvangirai. The "parallel government" is now being dismantled.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 27 November 2009

This latest Zimbabwe news is simply shocking.

The Public Service Commission of Zimbabwe, led by Mariyawanda Nzuwa, one of Mugabe's most powerful officials, has just announced that it now bar all people hired by the two MDC formations in Government from handling Government documents and from entering government buildings.

It is an unprecedented move, especially the banning of these appointees from entering government buildings. Even a hobo, a street kid, can enter government buildings. They are the property of any Zimbabwean, after all.

The justification given by the Public Service Commission is that people who it hires have to be bound by the Official Secrets Act while those hired to work directly with Prime Minister Tsvangirai (without going through the PSC) are not bound by the Act.

"Anybody who has not been recommended to assume a position in Government by the PSC has no business in our offices or handling State documents," said Nzuwa, the PSC Chairman.

He admits that any Minister can hire staff for his ministry or office but insists that this must be done with the approval of the Commission. The problem has been that the PSC has been refusing to allow the MDCs to hire their own competent people, foisting Permanent Secretaries on them and giving them no choice in the matter, for instance.

The excuse has always been that of lack of funds for the government. The true object was to get whatever funding the MDCs have to be channeled through Government coffers, which the MDCs were not prepared to do.

Now the MDCs have found funding to capacitate their offices and the response is this: banning the people being paid by MDC donors from entering government buildings, even if those people are Zimbabwean citizens.

This is part of the wider "parallel government" fight that Mugabe is engaged in with Tsvangirai. He brought up the subject as one of his own "outstanding issues" at the recent SADC Troika meeting in Mozambique.

Now, instead of talking through the issue as recommended by SADC, he has decided to simply go ahead and take unilateral action against the individuals concerned!

"The people who are moving around with ministers or have been incorporated into the ministries actually compromise the status of the PSC, so there is need to get rid of such elements within the public service," said the Public Service Commission


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