Tsvangirai Announces Cabinet

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai announcing his cabinet list at the Miekles earlier today, flanked by Deputy PM T. Khupe

The latest news from Zimbabwe: Tendai Biti who, during the March 2008 election campaign said Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono "should be put in front of a firing squad" will now be boss to that very same Gono

It is almost certain that within a month of this government being sworn in, Biti will seek to fire Gono. Mugabe will fight this tooth and nail. In the end, Gono's job may well become a barganing chip between the two leaders, Mugabe and Tsvangirai, as they seek to extract more concessions from each other.

The other ministers announced are:

Home Affairs, which goes to Giles Mtsekwa (a very weak choice and one guaranteeing ZANU PF will hold sway during the six months period before this cabinet and government are reviewed by SADC).

Economic Planning and Investments minstry has been given to Elton Mangoma

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, which goes to Advocate Eric Matinenga

Information and Communications Technology, which goes to Nelson Chamisa. This is not the ministry of information as we know it. Chamisa's ministry will have no power over the media, that post was retained by ZANU PF.

Public Services Ministry, which goes to Prof. Elphas Mukonoweshuro

Science and Technology, which goes to Henry Dzinotyiwei

Energy and Power Development, which goes to the very capable former mayor of Harare, Engineer Elias Mudzuri. This is a very good choice indeed.

State Enterprises and Parastatals, which to Eddie Cross

Roy Bennet gets to be Deputy Minister of Agriculture

Ministry of Health goes to Dr Henry Madzorera

Public Works goes to Theresa Makone

Social Welfare Ministry goes to Pauline Mpariwa

Water Resources Ministry goes to a Mutambara MP, nominated surprisingly not by Mutambara but by Tsvangirai: Abenigo Bhebhe

Deputy Minister of Defence (a fairly meaningless position for the MDC), goes to Tichaona Mudzingwa, a former army medic

Deputy Minister of Justice is Jessie Manjome

There are other deputy ministerial positions that are awaiting agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai announced his cabinet picks during a press conference held just across the road from our offices at the PMs favourite hotel, the 5-star Miekles:

"I hope that by the time the other ministries are allocated, I as PM being responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, will have to define their mandates. We hope we can begin then the hard work ahead of us."

Tsvangirai also said that his main priorities will be achieving economic stability and attracting direct foreign investment.

His comments betray the low-intensity warfare that is taking place outside of public gaze between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who have met several times since the MDC agreed to go into bed with ZANU PF.

At issue is the definition of the two-headed monster created by the September 15 agreement.

While Tsvangirai will be PM, he will not be chairing cabinet meetings. That remains Mugabe's job. He will instead chair the Council of Ministers, which sounds similar to Cabinet is apparently a less powerful body.

This has given rise to fierce disagreements between the two principals, with Mugabe saying that he defines the ministries and then Tsvangirai simply allocated them for his own party members. Tsvangirai, as betrayed by his statement above, insists that as Prime Minister, he should write the job descriptions of the ALL ministers.

Mugabe apparently conceded last week by saying Tsvangirai could write the job descriptions for MDC ministers but must leave ZANU PF ministers alone. Tsvangirai wants to be able to define the mandates of ALL ministers.

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  1. I am very much concerned about the appointment of Biti as finance Minister, not because I doubt on his abilities, but because of the apparent tense, or bad or sour relations with the governor of RBZ. Will they be able to work together harmoniously. Though RBZ governor hasn't said much or displayed any ill-feelings towards Biti, I wonder how Biti perceives him. Morgan should have considered that, though Biti wanted a powerful ministry as a seniour member of the party and did not want to share Home affairs with Zanu PF, I think there were no other options, otherwise Biti was going to go alone or may be split the party. But President Mugabe will defend Gono's job at all costs, we are going to see drama.

  2. @Thoko, This is very true. In fact I had initially decided to headline the article: Tsvangirai announces Death Of GNU because of this!!

    Tsvangirai has decided to take the confrontational approach here and this will start with Gono. As you rightly point out, Mugabe will never allow Gono to be fired.

    At the same time, Biti will never be happy to work with Gono at all, whom he said should be shot by a firing squad and whom he called a Financial Terrorist!!

    There are bruising battles ahead and we will see these

  3. Denford,
    Sorry for being off topic:
    I put your blog on the Chain of friends of Internations. Hope this is okay for you.
    Without Entrecard we receive already at least 150 unique visitors a day and often quoted by CNN, CBS, ABC, Yahoo Answers etc.
    It's a privilge to have such an informative and honest blog on our blogroll. Keep on doing the good work.
    Dutch in Istanbul

  4. You are right Denford, It is actually a confrontational approach. I think we can draw lessons from previous scenarios where RBZ governor and Finance Minister had not so sound working relations. That is Herbert Murerwa and DR Gono, what was the result? Was it Chris Kuruneri and Dr Gono again, what was the result again?
    We are also told Biti was against the inclusive gvt, will he use any friction he might have with the system to justify his long held view, that they (MDC) should never go to bed with Zanu PF.Its like we are going to be hearing at any slightest disagreement Biti saying I told you so, this doesn't work. He may work to prove his position and have him vindicated, rather than working towards having the union succeed.


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