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Zimbabwe PM’s Office Denies Sacking Top Officials

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office Wednesday confirmed major changes have been implemented in his office but dismissed reports that some people had been sacked.

In a statement that offered little information on who had been moved or re-assigned, Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said the changes were “realignments that will enable the effective discharge of the prime minister’s constitutional duties.”

Sources in the PM’s office said Mr. Tsvangirai’s right hand man and chief of staff, Ian Makone, is one of the top officials who was affected by the reshuffle.

Legal expert Alex Magaisa, currently teaching law at Kent University in England, is expected to take over the transitional initiatives portfolio from Makone.

Tamborinyoka said there had been a lot of unnecessary media speculation on the goings-on in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The realignments are intended to strengthen the prime minister’s constitutional responsibilities in the areas of planning, policy formulation and supervision of government ministries, management of government programs and implementation of approved legislation,” said Tamborinyoka.

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya of the Liberal Market Solutions told the VOA that Ian Makone is “an institution in the MDC” and the stripping of his powers means there is a serious crisis in the party that Mr. Tsvangirai is now trying to strategically manage.

“But it is very unfortunate if that crisis was being stirred up by his marital relationships,” said Ngwenya.