New Zimbabwe cabinet to form soon: president
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has invited the opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to submit the list of ministers from his party and expressed optimism that a Cabinet will be in place soon, the state media The Herald reported on Tuesday.
The Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in Sandton, South Africa, over the weekend, recommended that the inclusive government be established urgently, reported Xinhua.
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa said on Monday President Mugabe had invited Tsvangirai to submit names for ministers from his party. "We invited Tsvangirai to submit names from his party. Whether he will respond positively or not only time will tell," he said.
Speaking to the media earlier on at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg before returning to Zimbabwe early Monday morning, Mugabe expressed optimism that the decisions expressed in the final communique would soon be implemented.
"We will try to institute the decisions reached by the summit as quickly as possible. Maybe this week, maybe next week, but as soon as possible," he said.
Asked if the two opposition MDC parties would come on board in the envisaged inclusive government, Mugabe said: "I hope they do. SADC has been very persuasive this time around. Of course, they cannot force any decision on any country and at the end of the day it is up to us as Zimbabweans to implement the recommendations. All they can do is make recommendations and I hope they (the opposition) come on board."
The final communique said it was imperative that a new government be put in place pursuant to the Sept. 15 agreement that paved the way for the creation of an administration headed by President Mugabe with MDC-T and MDC filling several Cabinet portfolios.
The summit also endorsed the earlier position of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security calling for co-management of the contentious Ministry of Home Affairs by the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition MDC-T.
MDC-T had demanded sole control of the ministry with Zanu-PF insisting the portfolio should be shared for national security reasons.
The summit decision clears the way for the formation of an inclusive Government while calling for immediate steps to be taken to legislate Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 19 which will give legal effect to the Sept. 15 agreement.
Insiders close to the proceedings in Sunday's meetings said SADC leaders had at the end of the day been left convinced that co- managing Home Affairs "presented the best possible way for the agreement to move forward".
They also said the vast majority of leaders had rejected attempts by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to widen the discussions to include other ministries, gubernatorial seats and ambassadorial appointments.
Sources said Tsvangirai told SADC leaders that he would accept the decision with reservations. However, soon after the summit, he told the international media that he could not accept the decision.