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PM fingers truant ministers

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has given President Robert Mugabe the list of Zanu PF ministers who have been boycotting meetings of the Council of Ministers, which he chairs.

His spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the development yesterday, saying President Mugabe was given the dossier at the last meeting of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals.

“The President was given a schedule of attendance to the Council of Ministers which showed utter disdain and contempt of the body mainly by Zanu PF ministers,” he said.

President Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba could not be reached for comment amid reports he was in Iran.

Tamborinyoka did not know what action the President would take, but the veteran ruler has said he is not aware of Zanu PF members bent on sabotaging the unity government.

The refusal by some Zanu PF ministers to report to Tsvangirai has been one of the thorny issues in the inclusive government.

The MDC-T leader has previously said the refusal by Zanu PF ministers to give progress reports was affecting Tsvangirai’s supervisory role, impeding the Government Work Programme.

The GPA, which gave birth to the shaky inclusive government, vests in Tsvangirai, who chairs the Council of Ministers, the mandate to oversee the formulation of government policies and to ensure they are implemented by the entirety of government.

Tsvangirai was mandated with ensuring that the ministers implement government plans as decided by Cabinet.

“In this regard, the Ministers will report to the Prime Minister on all issues relating to the implementation of such policies and plans,” reads part of the GPA.

The GPA further states in section 20.1.5: “To ensure that the Prime Minister properly discharges his responsibility to oversee the implementation of the work of government, there shall be a Council of Ministers consisting of all the Cabinet Ministers, chaired by the Prime Minister, whose functions shall be: (a) to assess the implementation of Cabinet decisions; and (b) to assist the Prime Minister to attend to matters of coordination in the government.”

The Council of Ministers is also meant to enable the Prime Minister to receive briefings from the Cabinet committees; and to make progress reports to Cabinet on matters of implementation of Cabinet decisions, among other duties.

Tsvangirai told journalists early this month that the inclusive government was malfunctioning with Zanu PF ministers refusing to report to him or attend the Council of Ministers while some civil servants such as district administrators were shunning him during his tours to assess the Government Work Programme.

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