THE Constitution of Zimbabwe, as amended by Amendment No 19, provides for the creation of the office of prime minister. Clause 20.1.1 of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No 19 clearly and unequivocally states that executive authority of the inclusive government shall vest in, and be shared among the President, the prime minister and the cabinet.
The Prime Minister is thus constitutionally empowered to exercise executive authority as well as to oversee the formulation of government policies by the cabinet.
Put simply, therefore, the PM is the chief executive officerÂ of the cabinet. He occupies a crucial and critical executive post that is tasked with ensuring that policies that are formulated by the cabinet are implemented by the entirety of government. Zimbabwe is a constitutional republic whose affairs are to be governed in accordance with the provisions of its written constitution; which constitution has been amended a record 19 times since independence in 1980.
In one of his usual acerbic articles that are posted on various websites and also in the Herald newspaper, Tsholotsho North MP Professor Jonathan Moyo (pictured) makes the scandalous remark that ‘’the MDC-T is illegally running a parallel government in PM Morgan Tsvangirai’s office in which civil servants who, like their peers in other government offices, are remunerated a paltry monthly allowance that is no more than US$170Â are also paid salaries from foreign governments, some of which are as high as US$7 000 a month”.
Whilst this wild allegation is as false as it is manifestly scandalous and patently preposterous and mischievous, there is need to further interrogate Moyo’s article and to ultimately locate the exact reasons Moyo is characteristically bitter and malicious. For the benefit of the readership, let me categorically state that the prime minister’s office has a small professional bureaucracy that earns the same salary as every civil servant.
Contrast this fact with the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) bureaucracy in the President’s Office whoseÂ exact staffing levels are unquantified. Add to this the more than 13 000 ghost workers who are on the government’s pay roll courtesy of Zanu PF. It is apparent that Moyo is a very bitter man.
For some strange reason, he initially expected the MDC led by Tsvangirai to offer him a safe political comfort zone that he would then use to selfishly advance his chameleonic and Machiavellian proclivities.
In essence, Moyo wanted to misuse and abuse the good name and popularity of the MDC brandÂ to advance his own political ambitions, hoping that somehow he would find himself appointed minister.
Perhaps this was fortified by the apparently unwise move by the MDC-T not to field a candidate to contest the Tsholotsho North House of Assembly seat during the March 29, 2008 harmonised elections.
The MDC-T thus inadvertently contributed to the virtual political resurrection of Moyo. Had the MDC-T fielded a candidate to contest the Tsholotsho North seat, this man would have been political history by now. He would have been nowhere near parliament.
After dismally failing to further his political ambitions through a loose alliance with the MDC-T, Moyo became extremely bitter and angry with the MDC leadership, particularly with Tsvangirai and Finance minister Tendai Biti, the undoubted top dogs in the party.
This is what essentially informs Moyo’s recent venom and anger against the MDC in general and Tsvangirai and Biti in particular. Moyo’s venomous attacks against these two high-flying politicians are just but a manifestation of personal anger, frustration, bitterness and a deeply entrenched malignancy.
In typical turncoat fashion, Moyo is now courting Zanu PF. He has gone out of his way to assume the position of the unofficial Zanu PF spokesperson. Of late, he has been defending Zanu PF with his usual effervescence andÂ delirium. They can have him.
Only time will tell how dangerous it is to court this kind of character. Whilst the MDC under Tsvangirai has tried to follow the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), Zanu PF has engaged combat mode. The state-controlled media such as Zimpapers and the ZBC have, of late, gone into overdrive demonising and generally trashing Tsvangirai and the MDC.
The issue of so-called ‘’ illegal’’ sanctions has all of a sudden regained centre stage. Zanu PF is refusing to agree to the swearing in of Roy Bennett and the governors allegedly because the MDC has not done enough to have the so-called “illegal” sanctions lifted. Lifted by whom and for whose benefit?
The MDC isÂ just a political party. It is fallacious for any right-thinking person to assume that Tsvangirai can just pick up the phone and ‘’ instruct’’ the European Union and the US to lift travel restrictions and other targeted restrictive measures against some individuals in Zanu PF. By refusing to fully democratise the country in accordance with the basic tenets of the GPA, it is Zanu PF and not the MDC whichÂ is running a parallel government in Zimbabwe.
The MDC is not making ‘’ noise’’ over Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana. The MDC is raising genuine and legitimate transgressions of the GPA. Both Gono and Tomana were unilaterally appointed by President Mugabe late last year, long after the GPA had been solemnised on September 15 2008.
For anyone to therefore argue that Gono and Tomana are not outstanding issues of the GPA is to completely miss the point. This type of sterile argument is completely lacking in both factual and legal support. This argument ought to be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves.
Â Meanwhile the state-controlled media has lately been celebrating Gono’s ‘’achievement’’ in arranging for the advancement of the IMF loan in of US$510 million. If the truth be said this money is a poisoned chalice. In previous articles, I have written extensively on how the Bretton Woods institutions have pauperised and continue to pauperise developing countries by confining them to a debt trap.
Zimbabwe’s domestic and external debt is currently in excess of US$5 billion and we are struggling to repay this debt, even the interest on the debt. IMF money, coming as a loan, is very expensive money which Zimbabwe can ill-afford to use.
There is always a catch with these IMF loans. Chapter and verse, the nation must be told of the exact details of the loan repayment conditions. How can an honest and caring creditor demand that you repay outstanding interest on his old loan by using money that he is advancing to you by way of a fresh loan?
This is a debt trap and Zimbabwe should immediately stop being excited about this money from the IMF.
Moyo has trashed Finance minister Biti on this particular issue. Moyo alleges that ‘’Minister Biti has shown his mala fides, to the point of seeking to block the unconditional funds due to Zimbabwe from the IMF”. I disagree that Biti has acted irresponsibly. If anything, he is an erudite and results-oriented Finance minister who is honestly seeking to manage and administer the state’s coffers.
Obert Gutu Gutu is an MDC-T senator.
ByÂ Obert Gutu