The inclusive government has come down heavily on George Charamba, the permanent secretary of Media, Information and Publicity, ordering him to immediately stop dabbling in politics.

The principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) – which led to the formation of the inclusive government – agreed at a meeting on August 4 that Charamba should not overshoot his responsibilities as a senior civil servant by dabbling in politics.

The leaders tasked Misheck Sibanda, the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, to ensure Charamba does not delve into politics again. Mariyawanda Nzuwah, the chairman of the Public Service Commission, was also tasked with similar responsibilities. The decision against Charamba, who doubles as President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson, came after MDC-T complained that the sharp–tongued civil servant was continually undermining the Office of the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

In a progress report sent to the GPA facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma, entitled Implementation Matrix for the Issues Settled by the Three Principals to the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement (GPA), the principals said they have agreed to ensure Charamba immediately stops delving in politics. The progress report sent to Zuma is in our possession. NewsDay reported in June that principals to the GPA – President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara – had expressed reservations over Charamba’s conduct after he had made disparaging public remarks against the Prime Minister.

The duplex roles of Charamba and his behaviour towards Tsvangirai and the inclusive government were among the sticking issues to the GPA.

In the progress report, the principals told Zuma that they had agreed on 24 of the 27 outstanding issues to the GPA.

The three outstanding issues are the appointment of Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, the unilateral appointment of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank chief and Johannes Tomana as the Attorney General.

The principals said they have agreed on contentious issues such as the removal of sanctions, media reforms, reforms on state security institutions, land reform audit and tenure systems, review of ministerial allocations, vacant electoral posts, transport arrangements for principals, security aides for Tsvangirai, and conferment of national heroes’ status, among other issues.

The principals agreed on the removal on sanctions imposed by the Western world to force President Mugabe to embrace democratic reforms.

The three leaders tasked leaders of the political parties and the Cabinet re-engagement committee to handle the issue.

The issue of sanctions will be dealt with on a continuous basis.

The principals agreed to regularise the appointment of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board and to appoint a new board at the national broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

The principals, Webster Shamu, the information minister, and the Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee were given one month to implement the task.

The principals agreed to call upon foreign governments hosting, funding and relaying “pirate” radio stations to stop doing so.

The task was given to the Cabinet re-engagement committee and the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic). This should be done within a month.

The media was directed to support all agreed government programmes and to stop attacking ministers implementing such programmes.

The principals implored on the police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to immediately ensure Zimbabweans are free to organise political activities without any hindrances from the police.

The principals agreed to appoint an inclusive and balanced land audit commission within a month.

The issue of land tenure security was also agreed upon. They said emphasis should be placed on a leasehold system that guarantees security of tenure and collateral value of land but without reversing the land reform programme.

On electoral vacancies, the principals agreed that parties to the GPA should not contest each other for the entire duration of the inclusive government.

The leaders agreed to immediately speed up the process of vetting, training and engagement of security personnel of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Administrative arrangements for Tsvangirai’s motorcade will be immediately rectified.

There was also an agreement for a review of ministerial allocations.

“For the maintenance of cohesion and progress, the status quo must be maintained, but continuously monitored,” the principals said in the progress report.


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