The role of the Prime Minister


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A document outlining the role of the Prime Minister was initialled by President Robert Mugabe and the leader of smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Arthur Mutambara in August 2008 but the leader of the larger faction Morgan Tsvangirai refused to sign because he felt that as Prime Minister he should be head of cabinet.

This was disclosed by the MDC-M lead negotiator Welshman Ncube who leaked the document to the United States embassy.

Ncube said there was a lot of give and take in the formulation of the document which resulted in making it explicit that the Prime Minister would have executive power and be part of the National Security Council.

He said that although Tsvangirai indicated at various times that he would accept the document, he ultimately took the position that he, as Prime Minister, should be head of cabinet.

He therefore refused to initial and accept the document.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE756, PROPOSED ROLE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE756

2008-08-29 08:30

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1430

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0756/01 2420830

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 290830Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3355

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2243

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2363

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0893

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1640

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1996

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2417

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4849

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1512

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000756

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/02/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: PROPOSED ROLE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) The obstacle to a ZANU-PF–MDC deal is agreement on

the respective roles of Mugabe as president and Tsvangirai as

prime minister.   A hard copy of the document reproduced in

Paragraph 2, entitled “Role of the Prime Minister,” with

initials of Mugabe and Mutambara, was provided to us by

Welshman Ncube, one of the MDC-M negotiators. Ncube told us

there was a lot of give and take in its formulation which

resulted in making explicit that the prime minister would

have executive power and be part of the National Security

Council. Although Tsvangirai, according to Ncube, indicated

at various times during the discussion of the prime

minister’s powers that he would accept the document, he

ultimately took the position that he, as prime minister,

should be head of cabinet. He therefore refused to initial

and accept it. Since other outstanding issues, including

drafting of a new constitution and length of an interim

government had been resoved, Tsvangirai’s acceptance of this

document would have resulted in a global agreement. This

document will undoubtedly be the basis of further

negotiations.

 

2. (C) “Role of the Prime Minister.”

 

–1. Cabinet is the organ of state that carries the

principal responsibility of formulating and implementing the

government policies agreed to in the Global Agreement. The

Executive Authority of the Inclusive Government resides in

the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

 

–2. The Prime Minister is a member of Cabinet and its

Deputy Chairperson. In that regard he carries the

responsibility to oversee the formulation of policies by the

Cabinet.

 

–3. The Prime Minister must ensure that the policies so

formulated are implemented in accordance with the programme

developed by the Ministries and agreed to in Cabinet.

 

–4. In overseeing the implementation of the agreed

policies, the Prime Minister must ensure that the state has

sufficient resources and appropriate operational capacity to

carry out its functions effectively. Accordingly, the Prime

Minister will necessarily have to ensure that all state

organs are geared towards the implementation of the policies

of the inclusive government.

 

–5. The President and the Prime Minister will agree on the

allocation of Ministries between them for the purpose of

day-to-day supervision.

 

–6. The Prime Minister must ensure that the legislation

necessary to enable government to carry out its functions is

in place. In this regard, he carries the responsibsility of

conducting the business of Government in Parliament.

 

–7. The Prime Minister also advises the President on key

appointments the President is required to make under and in

terms of the Constitution or any Act of Parliament.

 

–8. The Prime Minister can make recommendations on such

disciplinary measures as may be necessary.

 

–9. The Prime Minister shall serve as a member of the

National Security Council and this will ensure his

participation in deliberations on matters of national

security and operations pertaining thereto.

 

–10. As the work of the Inclusive Government evolves, the

President or Cabinet may assign such additional functions as

 

HARARE 00000756 002 OF 002

 

 

are necessary further to enhance the work of the Inclusive

Government.

 

–11. The Prime Minister shall report regularly to the

President.

 

MCGEE

 

(1 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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