National Security Council meeting postponed

The first meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) for 2012, set for Friday in Harare has been postponed to a later date.


SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that members of the NSC were notified of the cancellation Thursday but were not told of the reasons for the postponement.

There is speculation however that Robert Mugabe, who chairs the NSC may have postponed the meeting to give himself enough time to ponder over the dilemma he faces regarding the fate of the police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri.

The future of Chihuri remains in limbo, after his contract expired on 31st January this year. SW Radio Africa has been told that Mugabe will most likely re-appoint him for another term, a move that is set to provoke hostility from the other coalition partners in the inclusive government. It is also widely expected that this decision will be made unilaterally.

The commissioner-general has become so powerful in the police force that he blatantly undermines the co-Home Affairs ministers, Theresa Makone from the MDC-T and ZANU PF’s Kembo Mohadi. He has reportedly told the two he’s strictly not to be disturbed before 9am as he will be attending morning prayers.

A source told this radio station that: “I don’t think it would have been comfortable for both Mugabe and Chihuri to sit in the NSC meeting knowing fully well that the commissioner’s term of office expired.”

“It would have given the MDC formations ammunition to target Chihuri and demand that he be ejected from the meeting as his presence there would have been illegal,” the source said.

The source added: “Mugabe has given himself time to deal with matter and the next time this NSC meeting is convened Chihuri will be a substantive police chief.”

Chihuri took over from former police chief Henry Mukurazhizha in 1991 as acting commissioner before assuming the position on a full time basis in 1993. His contract has been renewed 13 times since his first term expired in 1997.

The two MDC formations contend that Chihuri, who has publicly voiced his support for Mugabe and his ZANU PF party, is staying on in the post illegitimately after his term ended on Tuesday.

The MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which has been against Chihuri’s continued stay since the formation of the unity government, said it means the country effectively has no police commissioner-general as from Wednesday.

Leader of the smaller MDC formation Welshman Ncube says Chihuri is holding onto the office illegally.

Despite vociferous undertakings from ZANU PF that Mugabe has the sole responsibility to appoint Chihuri, the MDC-T has remained steadfast that these pronouncements are wrong. They insist that under Article 20.1.3(P) of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), Mugabe must make key appointment in consultation with the Prime Minister. – SW Radio Africa News

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