The state controlled Sunday Mail newspaper quoting parliamentary clerk Austin Zvoma yesterday said nomination of candidates had been suspended and that the three parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) might now have to forward nominees for the appointments that will be done on proportional representation.
But in a sign the unity government could be headed for more conflict, MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the party was not aware of the decision to stop nomination of candidates.
We are not aware that it has been suspended, Chamisa told ZimOnline. We are going to consult the Speaker and then we will have a knowledgeable answer.
The four commissions provided for under Constitutional Amendment Number 19 that established the countrys inclusive government are the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), the Independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (IZEC), the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).
Selection of candidates by a special parliamentary committee to sit on two new commissions that will oversee the countrys media, has been mired in controversy after President Robert Mugabes ZANU PF party protested against the selection process after several of its allies failed to make it to the final list of nominees.
Parliaments standing rules and orders committee (SROC) two weeks ago publicly interviewed 27 candidates from which 18 names were to be selected and forwarded to Mugabe.
Mugabe would have selected from the submitted names nine individuals to constitute the ZMC and three people to make up the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
But ZANU PF alleged that the interviews for the nominations of the ZMC and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) were biased against candidates perceived to be sympathisers of the party.
Mugabes party also alleged that the panel that carried out the interviews favoured candidates with links to the MDC-T.
Suspension of nomination of candidates would delay political reforms that Western nations have insisted they want to see first before they can provide direct financial support to the Harare government.
The suspension of the procedures would also means that newspapers that sought to register to operate in the country, including the Daily News whose application for an operating licence was approved by a special committee set to examine the issue, will have to wait a little longer as there is no body with the mandate to register the media houses.
The setting up of the commissions will be the starting point towards the democratisation of state institutions that have been under the control of Mugabe and ZANU PF.
ZMC will replace the old Media and Information Commissions which during its tenure shut down four independent newspapers and issued stringent conditions for registration of foreign journalists.
The IZEC is set to replace the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), accused by the opposition MDC of backing and supporting Mugabe and ZANU PF in the last polls.
The ZACC is expected to deal with worsening corruption in the country while the ZHRC is expected to start work in reviewing the human rights situation in the country.