May 7, 2009 By Sakhile Malaba © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅
There is a storm brewing over the appointments and possible ousting of president Mugabe’s imposed Governors.
The six ousted Governors are, Cain Mathema, (Bulawayo) Sothokozile Mathuthu (Matebeleland North) Angeline Masuku (Mat South), David Karimanzira (Harare) and Titus Maluleke (Masvingo).
The three principals to the Global Political Agreement have agreed to compensate 6 ZANU PF governors who will step down to make way for new ones from the MDC formations, Newsreel learnt on Thursday.A highly placed source told us that during their Tuesday meeting, Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara agreed that six out of the ten governors appointed by Mugabe on 24th August last year would have to step down. The sticking point during their previous meetings was what to do with the governors once they step down.
“The thinking between Tsvangirai and Mutambara was that it was not their problem to deal with that issue since they were not involved in their appointments in the first place. They felt Mugabe was best placed to deal with that because he unilaterally appointed the governors without consulting them,” our source told us.
Mugabe reportedly agreed to the sharing of Provincial governor positions under an earlier agreed formula but under one condition, that those jobless governors be paid their full salaries and benefits for up to five years. A governor’s term is usually five years but analysts point out that the inclusive government will probably last 18 months before fresh elections are held.
Economist Luke Zunga said the principals should approach SADC or the AU for the compensation since the inclusive government was broke.
“How can Zimbabweans be punished by providing tax money to compensate people who were irregularly appointed. The country is broke and the principals should go to SADC and the AU who are the guarantors of the inclusive government,” Zunga said.
Under the present formula the party with the most seats in a given province would nominate the governor in that province. Therefore, MDC-T is entitled to have five governors, Zanu PF four and the Mutambara MDC one.
The MDC-T is currently entitled to appoint governors in Harare, Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Manicaland, while Mugabe should have the three Mashonaland provinces and Midlands. The Mutambara MDC faction will appoint a governor in Matabeleland South.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman James Maridadi confirmed to us that the issue of governors had now been dealt with. He also confirmed that the principals had agreed to compensate those who were to step down.
“Some will step down but others will remain. Those who will step down will be compensated,” Maridadi said. He however could not say how much each governor will receive as compensation.Maridadi said the principals also agreed during their Tuesday meeting that they would put finality to the remaining issues next week.
He added that the principals had made progress on some issues, and disagreement on others, but they have promised to deal with all the remaining concerns when they continue with their negotiations next week Tuesday.
The other outstanding issues which Mugabe has refused to back down are the reappointments of central bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, and the swearing in of MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
The delay in finding a lasting solution to these concerns forced the MDC on Wednesday to issue a five day ultimatum to the principals to deal with them by Monday next week.
MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti told journalists in Harare that the slow pace of the negotiations were becoming of great concern to them. He said, in their view these issues should have been concluded soon after the formation of the inclusive government in February.
He said the party was worried that some elements in government, ZANU PF, the security forces and public media, ‘continued to disregard some clear provisions laid out in the Global Political Agreement.’
“There are a number of toxic and poisonous attitudes that some of these institutions are showing. Their attitude is as if they are in a war situation,” Biti said.