Delay in Formation of New Government

The Power Sharing Agreement provides for a Prime Minister [Mr. Tsvangirai] and two Deputy Prime Ministers [one from MDC-T and one from MDC-M] and specifies the numerical division between the three parties of 31 Ministerial posts [15 to Zanu (PF), 13 to MDC-T, 3 to MDC-M]  and 15 Deputy Ministerial posts [8 to Zanu, 6 to MDC-T, 1 to MDC-M].

Article 20.1.3(j) of the Agreement states that the President will appoint the Prime Minister “pending the enactment of the Constitution Amendment No. 19”.  But this has not been done.

The Agreement does not state which specific Ministries go to each of the parties.  Last week the three Party principals failed to reach agreement on this issue and referred it back to the negotiating teams.  On Friday Mugabe left the country to attend the UN General Assembly session in New York, making it unlikely that any agreement will be reached this week on the distribution of Ministries.  Even after agreement is reached there may be further delays while the parties finalise their lists of nominees for the posts eventually allocated to them.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, has said that the new Government will not be formed until the Constitution Amendment No. 19 Bill has been enacted into law, which would mean the new Government may not be formed until some time in November. There is in fact no reason why other Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial appointments could not be made sooner in terms of the Constitution as it presently stands [it permits the President to appoint any number he considers appropriate].   And, Article 20.1.3(k) of the Agreement states that the President “formally appoints Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers in accordance with this agreement”.

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