President Robert Mugabe’s absence and the postponement of Cabinet and Politburo meetings for two successive weeks have exposed the impotence of his two deputies, Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mugabe secretly flew to Singapore on what government officials said was a trip to secure a university place for his daughter Bona who recently completed her undergraduate degree in Hong Kong.
Analysts, opposition leaders and ordinary Zimbabweans are skeptical about Mugabe’s repeated journeys to the east. Last year he went to Singapore eight times. Despite denials by his officials, many believe he is seeking treatment for advanced prostate cancer.
Tsvangirai who, under the terms of the Global Political Agreement is supposed to share executive powers with Mugabe, last week tried to convene a Council of Ministers meeting that he is empowered to chair. But Zanu (PF) ministers boycotted it, accusing him of seeking to usurp Mugabe’s mandate.
Critics of the tenuous coalition government have accused the MDC formations of having been asleep when they signed the GPA, which they say is porous and gives power to the octogenarian leader who has been in power since 1980.
Mugabe’s absence has also exposed his two deputies as nothing more than ceremonial leaders with no real power.
Mugabe remains the sole convener of cabinet, and has refused to delegate the role to either of his two deputies – holding the reins firmly in his own hands. Blessing Vava, spokesperson of the National Constitution Assembly, said Tsvangirai, Nkomo and Mujuru were nothing but figureheads.
“Effectively Mugabe’s absence has paralysed the operations of government. They cannot make any decision without him,” said Vava.
Former Zanu(PF) cabinet minister Dumiso Dabengwa said the secrecy surrounding the president, his movements and health was causing consternation among Zimbabweans.
“This should be public knowledge but we are told it’s a security matter. Any of the two VPs or the PM should take over when Mugabe is absent. This is not good for the government. It should be dealt with in the new constitution,” said Dabengwa.Post published in: News