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.
Viewing cable 08HARARE756, PROPOSED ROLE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/02/2018
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
¶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
–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
–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
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are necessary further to enhance the work of the Inclusive
–11. The Prime Minister shall report regularly to the