Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party wants its nominee for Governor of Harare to be sworn in urgently.

Under the terms of the GPA, signed more than two years ago, the MDC is entitled to appoint five regional governors. But President Robert Mugabe has resisted this, keeping all the Zanu (PF) governors in their positions.

The Harare seat fell vacant in February following the death of David Karimanzira. A Zanu (PF) administrator has been acting governor since then.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, told The Zimbabwean that Senator James Makore must now take office.

The January 2009 SADC communiqué, issued exactly two weeks before the GNU came into being, says “the provincial governors will be sworn in at the soonest opportunity.”

In addition, the principals decided that the six governors whose tenure was to be terminated as a result of that agreement would be paid compensation. But Zanu (PF) has refused to let the MDC governors take office – demanding that Western countries remove targeted sanctions on Zanu (PF) officials first.

Other excuses being bandied about is that there is no money for termination packages and that the office of the governor is an extension of the President’s office. Therefore, argue Zanu (PF) hawks, provincial governors serve at the pleasure of the President and not the Prime Minister.

The MDC says this is all nonsense. Zanu (PF) is bound by its signature of the GPA and must stop blocking the MDC governors from taking office.

Mwonzora said the Harare case was peculiar because the seat is vacant unlike the other four posts reserved for the MDC-T, whose nominees are Seiso Moyo for Bulawayo, Lucia Matibenga for Masvingo, Julius Magaramombe for Manicaland and Tose Sansole for Mat North.

Mwonzora said his party would block any attempts by Zanu (PF) to appoint the Harare metropolitan provincial governor of its choice.

“We have heard that Zanu (PF) members are positioning themselves for the vacancy but we would like to tell our colleagues that we are opposed to them retaking the governorship of Harare. Zanu (PF) must know that they are not alone in government and they must adhere to regulations we signed with them in the GPA.

Official sources say provincial heavyweights, including Tendai Savanhu, Amos Midzi and Nyasha Chikwinya, were eying the post, which comes with fabulous perks, including a Mercedes Benz and a governor’s mansion in The Grange.

A veteran MDC member, Makore served as one of Tsvangirai’s closest aides before the GNU was formed.

He was a director in Tsvangirai’s office up until 2007 when he decided to run for political office. Makore contested and won the Chitungwiza Senator post on an MDC ticket in March 2008.

A war veteran, Makore trained in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. He was later responsible for recruiting Zanla cadres. He says he remained in Zanu (PF) after Independence up until 1997. Asked why he left the liberation movement, Makore said: “There were areas of disagreements, labour issues, external wars etc,” he said in reference to Zimbabwe’s involvement in the DRC.

Makore is one of the trade unionists from the ZCTU who joined hands with Tsvangirai and many others to form the MDC. He served as overall coordinator in 1999, then as director of organizing in 2001, rising to become a director in Tsvangirai’s office.

Makore says he is confident of leading the city towards a brighter future – after all, it takes both a solid vision and years of experience to navigate the complex labyrinth of Harare politics – the centre of government power.