Saturday, May 07, 2005

Minister without constituency

More controversy continues to dog Mugabe's ZANU-PF and government in the aftermath of their March election "victory." In the latest development, the aging leader finds himself at odds with his own words after his Small and Medium Enterprises Development minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, is still without a constituency to represent in parliament. Zimbabwe's constitution states that every minister and deputy minister must hold a seat in parliament within three months of their appointment to the cabinet. Mugabe, who touted this rule strongly during his campaign along with his inititiave to ensure that women represented ZANU in a third of all the seats, now has to conjure up a seat for Nyoni, a woman.

Reeling from criticism about the enormous size of his "development cabinet," and the controversial death of a former confidante. This is proving to be no easy task as he used all of his parliamentary appointments for people he has given cabinet or gubernatorial positions. The only option he seems to have is that of imposing Nyoni, who lost to the MDC's David Coltart in Bulawayo South, on the people of the Mashonaland East constituency of Mudzi East. The Mudzi seat is available for by-election after Ray Kaukonde who won the seat in the parliamentaries was appointed Mashonaland East governor and handed one of Mugabe's 30 appointmented seats.

ZANU-PF's Mashonaland East provincial leadership isn't helping the situation either by unequivocally declaring that they want a native to the province to contest the vacant seat. So Mugabe is backed into tight spot between the constitution and his own followers in the party, or so it seems.

I wonder what trick Mugabe will pull out to quel this crisis. A constitutional amendment in the making?...We'll watch this one closely;)

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