GOVERNMENT has virtually been paralysed as ministers and members of the presidium intensify their political campaigns ahead of next week’s polls.
A number of government ministers are fighting tooth and nail to retain their seats in the bicameral Parliament in order to stand a good chance of being appointed into Cabinet.
A Cabinet appointment comes with a top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz, an all-terrain 4X4 vehicle, a government house and other featherbeddings.
While a serving President can, if need be, widen his/her selection pool by appointing non-constituency Members of Parliament, the slots are limited; hence politicians tend to bank on such benevolence as a last resort.
But with politicians spending much of their time in their constituencies, government business is suffering.
The traditional Tuesday Cabinet meetings were suspended early this month as parties moved a gear up in their contestation for power.
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have also hit the campaign trail, and have been crisscrossing the country’s provinces, drumming up support for their parties.
The tight schedule presented by the harmonised elections caught many politicians off guard. To make the most out of the available time, most of them have vacated their posts to seek re-election.
David Coltart, the Minister of Education, Arts, Sport and Culture, is one of the few ministers who are still performing their duties.
Yesterday, he said constitutionally ministers remain in place until a new President takes over.
“I have just put a new Arts Council and I am still signing papers. I have also attended a meeting of the Education Transition Fund,” said Coltart, the secretary for legal affairs in the Movement for Democratic Change.
Meanwhile, the Office of the President and Cabinet has written to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) saying it was temporarily withdrawing vehicles from the organ until after the polls as they were being abused at political campaigns.
This follows an announcement by ZANU-PF last week that it was pulling out of the organ on grounds that its assets were being abused.
JOMIC is a creation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that paved the way for the formation of the inclusive government in February 2009.
Its role is to ensure the implementation of the GPA; receive reports and complaints in respect of any issue related to the implementation, enforcement and execution of the agreement; serve as catalyst in creating and promoting an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding between the parties and promoting continuing dialogue between the parties.
The withdrawal of the vehicles is likely to paralyse JOMIC’s operations pre and post the election period.
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