An end to unity govt after Mutambaras weekend statement?

patrick_chinamasa_1A weekend walk out by Zanu(PF) ministers at a cabinet retreat after deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara said last years polls were "fraudulent, a nullity and a farce "could signal a collapse of the government. (pictured: Patrick Chinamasa led walk out).

The retreat, held in Nyanga resort area east of Harare, was meant to assess the governments first 100-day targets but Mutambaras comment angered Zanu(PF) ministers resulting in the meeting being aborted.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa led the walk out that included Webster Shamu (Media, Information and Publicity), deputy ministers Andrew Langa (Public Service), Aguy Georgias (Public Works), Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce), Douglas Mombeshora (Health and Child Welfare) and Walter Chidakwa (State Enterprises and Parastatals).

“Reckless, is how Chinamasa described Mutambaras comments. He told reporters there that were “We walked out of the meeting in protest to register our anger against reckless statement by one of the principals of the Global Political Agreement,” Chinamasa is quoted saying.

“This is a government faction and there was no reason to undermine the other partner in the government. Besides this is not the first time he has done it and we felt that this was unacceptable.” The Zanu(PF) ministers quickly checked out of their rooms at the conference venue and left for Harare.

Chinamasa said Mutambaras remarks were basically undermining the legitimacy of the inclusive Government and the other partners in it. “This is also not the first time he has attacked the party and its leadership. He did so in Victoria Falls (during the launch of the first ministerial retreat in Victoria Falls early this year), at the investment conference in Harare and at other functions.

“The Cabinet retreat is a Government function and it was wrong for him to undermine a partner in the Government… We decided to walk out to register our anger at his utterances. The walkout was also to underscore that Zanu(PF) ministers will not take that in future

In order to allay growing fears about a possible collapse of government, Chinanamasa told Reuters news agency that “This is a very specific reaction to a specific problem,” indicating that coalition government was not in danger. He also said that Matumbara had since apologised.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai later told journalists that he “appreciated” the Zanu(PF) ministers explanation, adding that the action they took was justified.

Although Mugabe and Tsvangirais adminstration has managed to stem Zimbabwes rapid economic decline, analysts say it has missed most of its short-term targets due to financial problems, a lack of focus and haggling over policy reforms.

The future lies in Zimbabwe getting huge capital and investment injections, in getting some massive foreign aid, political scientist Eldred Masunungure of the University of Zimbabwe said. But it is also very clear now that we are not going to be getting that from the traditional Western donors until issues of governance and human rights have been addressed, he said. This gives the unity government no other choice but to stay together.

Tsvangirai went the US and Europe in June but was told the West would only come to Zimbabwes aid when it created a democracy and improved human rights after decades of what critics say was Mugabes repressive one-party rule.

Post published in: News

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