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Tsvangirai drops Bhebhe, Cross as Mugabe names inflated Cabinet

OUT: Abednico Bhebhe dropped from Cabinet
OUT: Nkayi North MP Abednico Bhebhe dropped from Cabinet

Tsvangirai names MDC-M MP to Cabinet

Tsvangirai names Biti finance minister

Mugabe snubs rivals as Mujuru, Msika sworn in

Posted to the web 12/02/2009 21:40:28
THE formation of a Cabinet for Zimbabwe’s power sharing government verged on the farcical on Thursday night when new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to drop an MP from a rival party from his list of nominees, and President Robert Mugabe named 22 ministers – six more than his party is allocated.

On Tuesday, Tsvangirai had named Nkayi North MP Abednico Bhebhe in his list of 14 nominees for Cabinet posts, provisionally assigning him to take charge of the Water Resources Ministry.

The move drew fire from the Arthur Mutambara, who leads a rival faction to Tsvangirai's MDC. Tsvangirai also faced pressure from his party in Matabeleland after a stunning snub of his loyal supporters in the region with only Samuel Sipepa Nkomo making it as Deputy Minister.

A final list of ministers released by the President's Office and read out on state television on Thursday night saw Tsvangirai drop Bhebhe and replace him with Binga MP Joel Gabbuza. Also out is Eddie Cross, while Gorden Moyo of the pressure group Bulawayo Agenda was appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office. Nkomo becomes a full minister.

Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for Tsvangirai's MDC said last night: "Cross has been re-assigned after consultations and has been replaced by Joel Gabbuza while Bhebhe has been removed after circumstances that followed his appointment."

And Professor Welshman Ncube, the secretary general of the MDC led by Mutambara said: "In terms of the agreement, you cannot nominate a minister from another party. The nomination of our MP by MDC-T is therefore invalid. If they want to appoint him minister, he will have to first resign from our party and vacate the seat, otherwise it is not possible to appoint him.”

In another dramatic development, Mugabe nominated 22 ministers. The powwer sharing agreement signed with Mutambara and Tsvangirai restricts his party to 15 ministers, plus one Minister of State who does not sit in Cabinet but is available for special assignments.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said 39 people -- 8 more than stated in the September 15 agreement -- would be appointed "ministers" but gave no information as to the portfolios they would be assigned.

There was no explanation from Zanu PF officials for Mugabe's shock move last night, but one senior official in Mutambara's MDC described it as a "crisis".

"Deputy ministers are not sworn in until next week, so this clearly suggests Mugabe's list is of ministers. What his plan is, no-one is clear at this stage but it does look like a crisis," said the official.

One indication of indecision was perhaps the move to leave out the portfolios of the ministers from the state television announcement.

Mutambara's MDC named it's vice president Gibson Sibanda, secretary general Welshman Ncube, Priscilla Misihairabwi and David Coltart as ministerial nominees. One of the four will be a Minister of State in the Deputy Prime Minister's Office. The party will also pick one deputy minister, expected to be Moses Mzila Ndlovu, the MP for Bulilima West.

Regional leaders will attend a ceremony to swear in the Cabinet on Friday, the last act in a series of synchronised events towards the formation of an inclusive government.

THE FULL LIST OF MINISTERS BY PARTY:

ZANU PF (22)

John Nkomo, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Obert Mpofu, Sithembiso Nyoni, Patrick Chinamasa, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Walter Mzembi, David Parirenyatwa, Kembo Mohadi, Sydney Sekeramayi, Flora Buka, Didymus Mutasa, Sylvester Nguni, Joseph Made, Nicholas Goche, Savior Kasukuwere

(Zanu PF can name up to 8 deputy ministers)

MDC-TSVANGIRAI (15)

Tendai Biti, Giles Mutsekwa, Nelson Chamisa, Professor Henry Dzinotyiwei, Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, Elias Mudzuri, Advocate Eric Matinenga, Paurina Mpariwa, Joel Gabbuza, Dr. Henry Madzorera, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Elton Mangoma, Theresa Makone, Fidelis Mhashu, Gorden Moyo

(MDC-T can name up to 6 deputy ministers)

MDC-MUTAMBARA (4)

Welshman Ncube, Priscilla Misihairabwi, David Coltart, Gibson Sibanda

(MDC-M can name one deputy minister)
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