via Cabinet hold-up: Mugabe under fire – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba
Opposition parties have come out guns blazing against President Robert Mugabe for crippling government operations by delaying the announcement of a new Cabinet.
However, Zanu PF yesterday said the nation should be patient.
Although Mugabe won elections resoundingly, albeit in controversial circumstances on July 31, the 89-year-old is yet to compile a Cabinet that will serve for the next five years, stalling key policy issues which should be directed by ministers.
Opposition parties told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe was holding the nation at ransom.
Job Sikhala, who leads MDC-99, slammed Mugabe’s delay in announcing a new Cabinet.
“Zimbabwe without a Cabinet is truly affecting the functioning of the State,” Sikhala said.
“Whatever is brewing in the head of Mugabe the victor still surprises all of us. For government departments to function, they need policy direction from their ministers and its departments. Problems that need the attendance of ministers are indefinitely postponed until a new minister is in place. Sometimes you wonder why this plastic victory has created the arrogance of fools in Zanu PF?”
Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) leader Simba Makoni said the country is now functioning without crucial cogs.
“The country is functioning without a government; it is not good and paralyses everything. For now the civil service is running the government. It is worrisome that there is no strategic direction,” said Makoni.
Mugabe, in power since 1980, is reportedly in a quagmire as he seeks to reward different factions in his party keen on harvesting the merits of a landslide victory that ended the coalition government.
Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson of the smaller MDC, said Mugabe is probably trying to play a balancing act so as not to upset the election maxim “bhora mugedhi” which saw all factions fighting from the same corner as opposed to 2008.
“The question that should be asked is, are they now motivated by fear of failure that they take long to reach decisions,” Dube said. “They don’t want to create a Cabinet that will reverse what they achieved but again people will ask can a leopard change its spots. These delays create doubt because Zanu PF has done the same things since 1980 it has failed and is now ruled by fear.”
Dumiso Dabengwa, the leader of Zapu, said the delay in announcing Cabinet was an indicator that Mugabe was now too old.
“Normally you would expect Cabinet to be announced within a week or two weeks,” Dabengwa said.
“This delay could not have taken place 10 years ago when Mugabe was younger. Now he is suspicious of everyone. Old people don’t want to be pushed. He is suspicious of any advice that he gets and we should now get used to that.”
Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson of the mainstream MDC, said Mugabe was now clueless.
“This delay shows the character of decision making that we are going to have for the next five years with Mugabe as president,” Mwonzora said.
“We are going to have a confused Cabinet and the explanation for the delays is that Mugabe does not have talent within his party from which he can pick his ministers.
“We are glad as the MDC that we are not part of this embarrassing confusion and vacillation.”
But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo called on Zimbabweans to be patient, saying “Cabinet will be appointed very soon, there is no question about that.
“The president is a very systematic father, he is a very methodical man who looks at every aspect of people who he wants to appoint in his Cabinet,” Gumbo told the Daily News.
“We can’t blame him. We should bear in mind that we have had a traumatic experience in the past 10 days when we buried three heroes. The president only started work on Monday (last week).”