Tsvangirai set to become Zimbabwe's Prime Minister

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be sworn in as the country's new Prime Minister on Wednesday, joining President Robert Mugabe in a unity government.

This follows Zimbabwe's Senate passing the Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 19 last Thursday, paving the way for the establishment of an inclusive government.

Mr Tsvangirai will be sworn in at State House in front of President Mugabe at 11am. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader's two deputies, Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, will also be sworn in.

Mr Tsvangirai is expected to address a celebration rally in the capital after his scheduled swearing-in as the country's Prime Minister.

On Tuesday Mr Tsvangirai, named the Cabinet ministers from the MDC led by him to join the country's all-inclusive government.

He named his party's secretary-general, Tendai Biti, to assume the powerful Finance portfolio, while deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma was named to the Economic Planning and Investment ministry.

Retired army major Giles Mutsekwa was picked to head the key Home Affairs (Interior) ministry, and prominent Harare lawyer Eric Matinenga was named Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister.

The charismatic party spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, got the Information and Communication Technology portfolio.

Other appointments announced by Mr Tsvangirai were:

* Public Service - Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro
* Science and Technology Development - Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei
* Energy and Power Development - Elias Mudzuri
* State Enterprises and Parastatals - Eddie Cross
* Health - Dr Henry Madzorera
* Public Works - Theresa Makone
* Social Welfare - Paurine Mpariwa
* Housing and Social Amenities - Fidelis Mhashu
* Water Resources and Development - Abednico Bhebhe

He also named four deputy ministers - Roy Bennett (agriculture), Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa (defence), Jessie Majome (justice) and Cecil Zvidzai (local government).

The prime minister-designate said he would name the deputy ministers of foreign affairs, women and economic empowerment after further consultations.

According to the power-sharing deal signed by the MDC with President Mugabe's Zanu PF and the splinter MDC faction last year, Zanu-PF will have 15 ministers, MDC-T 13 and MDC-M three ministers. Zanu-PF will have eight deputy ministers, MDC-T six and MDC-M one.