Cabinet skips 9 meetings

via Cabinet skips 9 meetings – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 31, 2015

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has put government business on hold as his foreign trips continue to take a toll on Cabinet meetings where the Executive is supposed to meet every Tuesday to brainstorm on the mounting economic and social challenges facing the country.


A Zanu PF politburo member and top government official yesterday told NewsDay that Cabinet last had its Tuesday meetings on January 27 2015 after a 45-day break as Mugabe was on his annual holiday with his family in the Far East.

The official said the President’s endless trips since then have left government on virtual autopilot with Cabinet ministers in a quandary doing the least without Mugabe’s guidance.

Other Zanu PF insiders and political analysts said Mugabe’s globetrotting had crippled government work as Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is often left as Acting President, was unable to make crucial decisions in the absence of his principal.

“Due to divisions in Zanu PF, Mnangagwa will not make key decisions without risking being accused of trying to topple Mugabe. The country is on autopilot,” the Zanu PF insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The insider said when Mugabe was not in the country, Mnangagwa has to brief State House principal director Dzapasi Innocent Tizora, who will in turn contact Mugabe for direction.
Whatever Mugabe says through
Tizora was what Mnangagwa would implement, the source added.
“Mnangagwa cannot chair Cabinet, which means his position is ceremonial. He doesn’t have the power. Furthermore, Mnangagwa himself is hamstrung by the succession wars in the party. He cannot make key decisions without consulting Mugabe for fear of being accused of trying to topple his boss,” another top Zanu PF official said.
It is understood that Cabinet has not met for eight consecutive weeks as Mugabe’s foreign junkets continued to keep him away from home.
This was despite the fact that most of the foreign trips — some for medical check-ups, regional, continental and international engagements — continued to draw large sums of money in travel and subsistence allowances from the depleted national purse.
Already, the trips have gobbled $10 million since January.
Mugabe solely chairs Cabinet meetings although he regularly delegates his deputies to lead proceedings only when discussing less important issues.

Political analyst Ernest Mudzengi expressed concern that critical national decisions had been put on hold because of Mugabe’s continuous absence.

“Important decisions on the economy, investments and so on are not made when Mugabe is not around, and it is unfortunate, especially when the country is facing serious economic challenges,” Mudzengi said.
Government has since last year been struggling to meet basic obligations like paying civil servants’ salaries on stipulated dates, but the Executive has not been meeting to find ways of addressing the prevailing and worsening challenges.

Mugabe flew to Tanzania on Saturday hardly 24 hours after his return from Algeria.
From Arusha, the Zanu PF leader proceeded to Ethiopia for the 18th Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa which runs until today.

Mugabe, who is Sadc and African Union chairperson, has recently spent more time flying than at home addressing domestic problems.

Since he came back from his annual holiday on January 21, Mugabe has travelled to Ethiopia, South Africa, Singapore, Japan, Namibia, Algeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

The 91-year-old leader was also set to fly to South Africa again next week, Ethiopia and India.
Another analyst, Alexander Rusero, said Mugabe’s foreign trips, although he would be on government work, would mean back home there would be no movement in the party and government.

“Without Mugabe, the politburo, which guides government work, will not sit and there will be no movement in the country. Remember, Zanu PF is bigger than government and as long as he would not be around, government work suffers,” Rusero said.

“Since he would be on government work on those trips, there is need to balance between the time he is in the country and he is out of the country. Only the courts function when Mugabe is not around.”
Media and democracy scholar Redzisai Ruhanya said: “The travelling of the President comes with a huge pay cheque.”


  • comment-avatar
    wensil 6 years ago

    To Mugabe, that is nothing he doesn’t care. To imagine that cabinet has only met just three times in the last five months, that surely can’t be normal. Talk about the country being on autopilot and this is it.

  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 6 years ago

    Imagine if a company on the Zimbabwe stock exchange was US$ 11 billion in debt, the CEO is 91 years old and never at work (or even in the country) …. and then the board of directors decides to skip 9 board meetings??

  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 6 years ago

    Bet the sitting allowances will still be paid

  • comment-avatar
    Expat 6 years ago

    And Zimbabweans are shocked! REALLY, This individual has never cared about the people that voted him into representing them cause they never did. The rhetoric used to strum up what supporters that do support him, is just that popularist rhetoric, by no means has he ever had the intention of following anything that he has ever said unless there is a financial or populist benefit. His flock of sheep will follow and do as he says even if their constituents voice their objections this is the way as it has always been!

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 6 years ago

    Cabinet meetings are of no importance in Zimbabwe.
    The RULER knows it all

  • comment-avatar
    Michael 6 years ago

    Why have cabinet meetings at all. The Ministers are there only to feed at the trough and get as much money as they can from being in Cabinet – they have zero decision-making powers and will lose their positions if they actually propose anything Mugabe dislikes.

    Mugabe is a dictator and the only person in fact taking decisions on anything – the only one ever to tell him what to do recently is Grace – and she is out of the country as well. Will she be back to pilot the whole comedy series – not very likely.

    The country is not on auto-pilot. The sole pilot is Mugabe and the rest of the dummies are just there for kowtowing.

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    The entire nation, from Vice President Mnangagwa down to the poorest peasant, and even including Grace Mugabe, knows that by far the single most important thing for this nation to move forwards is that Mr Mugabe step down from the presidency.
    The cunning old devil is however totally besotted by power, and has woven a web of deceit and backstabbing amongst his closest contenders so that no-one dare move against him. He intends to rule Zimbabwe until death do us part.
    The question is: How can the nation / polity respond to this economic and political stasis occasioned by our intransigent head of state?
    There seems to be no obvious answer.
    Is it just a case of waiting for time and age to rid us of this burden? We should not forget that his mother lived to the age of 102, and despite prostate cancer, cataracts and memory lapses, Mr Mugabe is a very healthy 91 year old. He may well live another decade.
    What would be the state of the nation after 45 years of Mugabe presidency? Would we still be a unitary nation at all?
    Clearly there is a need for a Government of National Unity (GNU), such as was envisaged by Mbeki, to unite and rebuild Zimbabwe. Mugabe never accepted the concept, and unfortunately Mbeki had to coerce the old man into the GNU.
    The old GNU was able to reduce Mugabe’s power, control the economy to some extent and to move programs along without waiting for the president’s approval on every single thing.
    Zanu PF foolishly sabotaged the GNU, and now find themselves at the mercy of a hostile and embittered old president who forgives no-one for his loss of the 2008 presidential elections. The massacres at the 2014 Zanu PF congress was Mugabe’s revenge for 2008 and remind us that he is not a man who forgives and forgets.
    Wiser political commentators have been suggesting that there needs to be a broad based coalition of willing political forces to come together and form a 5 year transitional government to engineer the departure of the old man and to negotiate the subsequent reconstruction of our society.
    Do our politicians have the political maturity to put aside their differences and come together for the good of the nation? Sadly, not so far? All we see is bickering and squabbling. Everyone seems to think that Mugabe is at his end and that they are best placed to gain the crown.
    Those leaders who eschew unity would do well to remember that if a solution is not found very soon for the Zimbabwe crisis, then whoever inherits the crown will also receive the poisoned chalice of an embittered, impoverished, divided, and corrupted nation that will be impossible to rule.