HomeLocal NewsMugabe loses Chihuri fight

Mugabe loses Chihuri fight


President Robert Mugabe was yesterday forced to make a climbdown on a number of outstanding issues threatening to undo the inclusive government, including the renewal of Police Commissioner- General Augustine Chihuris contract.

Mugabe reportedly made the concessions at a meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to iron out a number of pressing issues that the PM had warned risked making the inclusive government dysfunctional.

The two MDCs were arguing Mugabe could not unilaterally renew Chihuris contract which expired on January 31, while Zanu PF had been adamant the veteran ruler did not have to consult anyone on the issue.

Tsvangirai and Mutambara addressed a joint Press conference at the PMs Strathaven residence soon after the meeting where they revealed the principals had agreed Chihuri was only working in an acting capacity until the principals decided on his future.

I dont know what your information is, but the Commissioner-General of Police cannot be appointed without the regularisation of the Police Service Commission which has not been constituted, Tsvangirai said.

If there is no position, there is an acting person and Chihuri is there in an acting capacity until we finalise the process.

All these discussions are serious and lets hope in 2012 will set a new tone as we go for elections, he added.

Tsvangirai said the agreements reached at the meeting would be summarised and consolidated in a document that would assist in their implementation. Mutambara said some of the issues agreed on included dealing with ministers who boycotted Council of Ministers meetings chaired by Tsvangirai.

He said the decision was taken after realisation that ministers from Zanu PF were not attending the meetings to undermine the PM.

Mutambara said as a result, all ministers would be obliged to attend the meetings held every Thursday.
The attendance and work of the Council of Ministers is undermined and we recommended that the meeting will be every Thursday and all ministers will be implored to attend and they will report back, he said.

Its the instrument responsible for implementation. Only matters of policy go to Cabinet and all discussions are handled within the Council. The institution should be respected to play a role in our democracy, Mutambara added.

On the outstanding land audit, the DPM said teams would be set up to monitor progress on the farms.
We must have more spearheading to do, where we are in terms of land use.

Province by province we are going to do a farm assessment to see how a farmer will be utilising the land, he said.On sanctions, the principals agreed to reconstitute the committee of ministers that was set up to work with a team from the Southern African Development Community to discuss the embargo with the European Union and the United States.

The three also agreed that civil servants in provinces and districts would be compelled to respect the offices of ministers in the inclusive government and stop sabotaging the offices of the PM and those of ministers from MDC formations.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara also discussed the arrest of ministers from the MDC formations.
We have a dignified way of arresting ministers as representatives of the nation, Mutambara said.

We dont want what we have seen in the past where ministers have been humiliated. There must be a way of dealing with them, not humiliating them. On official officers who make political statements, we agreed that should end.

Reprimands will be done within the structures, but our position is its not acceptable to make such statements, he added.

Mutambara said the principals would take charge of the constitution-making process and the outcome would determine when elections would be held.

The principals also resolved to act on hate speech in the media, stalled electoral reforms and also to instruct Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu to implement all agreed issues on the broadcasting sector.

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