Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Since the formation of the inclusive government on the 13th of February 2009, the Principals of the three political parties have met on several occasions in an attempt to resolve the implementation of the outstanding issues that were agreed in the Global Political Agreement and during the SADC mediated negotiations.
This has been a slow and frustrating process, however, we have been able to reach an understanding on a number of issues, which are:
In accordance with the formula agreed between the negotiators for the respective parties, namely, 5 for MDC-T, 4 for ZANU PF and 1 for MDC-M, the Provincial Governors will be sworn in at the soonest opportunity.
In addition, the Principals decided that the six governors whose tenure is to be terminated as a result of this agreement will be paid an agreed compensation.
The nominees for Governors for the MDC-T will be distributed at the end of this press conference.
The six member Cabinet Executive Committee, consisting of the President and his two deputies, the Prime Minister and his two deputies, convened to consider the appointment of Permanent Secretaries. This was in fulfillment of Article 21.7 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment No. 19. I am pleased to announce that we have reached agreement on these appointments.
We went through each one of the persons proposed and satisfied ourselves that they were suitable in terms of experience and qualifications.
We do not believe that civil servants should be appointed on a partisan basis, so there will be no civil servant from the MDC or ZANU-PF. Any civil servant who participates in partisan politics will have no place in our public service, and I urge the Minister of Public Service to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to that effect.
Although a partial list of these appointments was published via the State media last night, the full list is available from my office and will be released immediately after this press conference.
It was agreed that the MDC will submit names of individuals to be trained for Ambassadorial appointments. At the same time, an audit will be conducted to identify potential openings for new Ambassadors. These new appointments will be filled using a formula to be agreed upon. In the meantime, there are five Ambassadorial posts vacant which will be filled by the two MDC formations in the following ration, MDC-T, 4, MDC-M, 1.
The Principals agreed that the functions of the communications portfolio will be shared among the three Ministries: the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, the Ministry of Media Information and Publicity and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Specifically, The Ministry of Information Communication Technology will retain its responsibility over the Posts and Telecommunications Act, Potraz, Telone, Netone and ZimPost;
The Ministry of Media Information and Publicity will oversee the Broadcasting Act and Transmedia; and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development will be responsible for the Interception of Communications Act.
The three principals have agreed that Roy Bennett will be sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture before or on the day of swearing in of the Provincial Governors.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there are two key issues on which the Principals failed to reach agreement. These are the appointments of the Governor of the Reserve Bank and the Attorney General.
The Global Political Agreement, which was signed on September 15th 2008, states in section 20.1.7 that: The parties agree that with respect to occupants of senior Government positions, such as Permanent Secretaries and Ambassadors, the leadership of Government, comprising the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, will consult and agree on such prior to their appointment.
The Reserve Bank Governor and the Attorney General are senior government appointments and yet, in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding, the GPA and the Reserve Bank Act, Gideon Gono was reappointed on 26th November 2008. The Attorney General, Johannes Tomana was appointed by President Mugabe on 17th December 2008, again in breach of the MOU and the GPA.
In light of the above, and the fact that there is a deadlock on the status of the two individuals in question, the Principals, with the support of our parties, will now refer this matter to SADC as the guarantors of the GPA.
We trust that SADC will deal with this matter with the urgency that it requires.
In addition, we remain concerned about the continued violations of the rule of law, in particular, some of our citizens taking the law into their own hands with respect to the land reform programme.
While the above issues represent obstacles to the full implementation of the GPA, I think that it is also important that we recognize that progress has been made and continues to be made with respect to rebuilding Zimbabwe and having a positive impact on the lives of the people.
In particular, I am pleased to announce that the constitutional process is gathering momentum and that we are seeing significant improvements in media freedoms in the country. The recent media conference recommended that AIPPA be repealed and that the ZBC and Zimpapers be transformed into genuine public media as opposed to state media.
In light of this, it should also be noted that as of January 11th, 2008, as a result of Amendments to AIPPA, the Media and Information Commission ceased to exist. Therefore, there is presently no legal obligation for foreign or local journalists, media houses or news agencies to apply for accreditation until the Media Commission is established and a new framework put in place.
The Standing Rules and Orders Committee of parliament is in the process of ensuring that the media commission is put in place as soon as possible to facilitate the opening up of the media space.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion, I would like to emphasise that we remain committed to ensure the success of the inclusive Government and call on all parties to demonstrate their commitment to the same by abiding by the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement for the good of Zimbabwe and all its citizens.