Statement by the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, The Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai

Statement by the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, The Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, on the Progress of the Transitional Government

Members of the Diplomatic Corps and the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Zimbabweans;

Today, I want

Firstly, I would like to commend the Ministers for the work they have
been doing in the very short time that they have been in office.

They have managed to begin to address some of the many issues facing
the country and I am encouraged by the open and constructive debates
within Cabinet and the Council of Ministers.

In particular, I would like to recognise the efforts of the Ministries
of Health, Education and Finance. The latter has mobilised funds that
have enabled this government to pay the first round of allowances to
the civil service, particularly the army, police and teachers.

Not only did this allow these valuable members of our community to put
food on their tables and travel to work, but has also served as a vital
stimulus to our ailing economy. Those who have not yet received their
allowance will do so in the near future.

In addition I have kept the SADC Chairman, President Motlanthe,
appraised of developments and today our ministers are meeting with SADC
ministers concerning the Zimbabwe recovery programme.

However, it is also my responsibility to bring to your attention a
number of outstanding issues that continue to act as an impediment to
our progress as a Government and our ability to truly resolve the
issues facing our country.

These are:

•    The Appointment of Senior Government  Officials, such as Permanent

Secretaries and Ambassadors

•    The Appointment of the Governor of the Reserve Bank and the Attorney


•    The  Appointment of Provincial Governors

Yesterday's announcement of the appointment of Permanent Secretaries is
in contravention of both the Global Political Agreement and the
Constitution of Zimbabwe which is very clear with regard to Senior
Government Appointments.

It states in article 20.1.7 of the Eighth Schedule that:

The Parties agree that with respect to occupants of senior Government
Positions, such as Permanent Secretaries and Ambassadors, the
leadership in Government, comprising the President, the
Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, will
consult and agree on such prior to their appointment.

No civil servant has the authority to make such appointments or
announcements, therefore the announcement of the Permanent Secretaries
has no force of law and is therefore null and void. The Permanent
Secretaries who were in position as of September 15th will remain in
post in an acting capacity until the matter is resolved.

This government will not allow a parallel force within its structures
or any unconstitutional or unilateral actions which serve to impede

It is also important that the appointments of the Governor of the
Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono and the Attorney General, Johannes Tomana are
dealt with and resolved immediately.

This is in line with the SADC communiqué issued in Pretoria on the 27th
of January 2009, which states that the appointments of the Reserve
Bank Governor and the Attorney General will be dealt with by the
Inclusive Government after its formation;

Similarly the appointment of Provincial Governors is an issue that must be resolved forthwith.

As long as these matters remain unresolved, it will be impossible for
the transitional government to move forward with the reforms that this
country so desperately needs.

Most significantly, the rule of law continues to be flouted by some
sectors of the community and this must stop immediately. In particular,
a new wave of disruptions of farming operations, in contravention of
the Memorandum of Understanding, is undermining our ability to revive
our agricultural sector and restore investor confidence.

I have tasked the Ministers of Home Affairs, Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo
Mohadi, to bring the full weight of the law down on the perpetrators
who continue to act within a culture of impunity and entitlement. No
person in Zimbabwe is above the law.

With respect to detainees, the Principals to the Global Political
Agreement, namely myself, President Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister
Mutambara, last week agreed that all political detainees who have been
formally charged with a crime should be released on bail and those that
have not been charged should be released unconditionally. This has not
yet happened.

Indeed, rather than allowing the judicial process to take its course
with regard to the granting of bail, the Attorney General's office is
wilfully obstructing the release of all detainees by abusing the appeal
process and this must stop forthwith.

There have also been disputes over the mandates of various ministries.

While this is natural in a new transitional arrangement such as this,
issues of overlap and duplication will be resolved by my office.

With respect to the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity and
the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, the functions of
the former Department of Communication within the Ministry of Transport
and Communications shall be the responsibility of the new Ministry of
Information, Communication Technology.

Therefore, for avoidance of doubt, Telecommunications falls under this ministry.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is only one government running Zimbabwe –
one government, with one vision and one agenda – democratisation and
stabilisation. There is no room for residual parallel structures that
attempt to manipulate the process and procedures of government for
personal or political gain.

I urge all members of the civil service to undertake their duties in a
professional and patriotic manner and in the spirit of the Global
Political Agreement and to the letter of the Constitution.

As a nation we still have a long way to travel until we are truly free,
democratic and prosperous. I am confident that by working together we
will achieve this goal.

The vast majority of members of the civil service and Cabinet are eager
to work together and I am encouraged by the momentum that this
government is developing towards finding solutions to the problems
facing the country.

I thank you.

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