Days after southern African leaders meeting in summit in Johannesburg urged the unity government in Harare to step up cooperation on reforms to allow free and fair elections, tensions were already rising Wednesday among Harare's the power-sharing partners.
Sources said key ministers from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change formation were refusing to take orders from Mr. Tsvangirai and President Mugabe, particularly the former.
The prime minister in his weekly newsletter said that the ministers of Home Affairs, Defense, Mines, Information and State Security were now refusing to answer to anyone but President Mugabe, and were bypassing his office.
“We have seen a distinct division between the two parties where certain ministries are no longer accountable to the collective. They are only accountable to the president. So you can see that there is growing discord and fissures within the government and these are causing the government to be dysfunctional,” Tsvangirai complained.
He said the 28-month-old government is becoming dysfunctional, which if continued could plunge Zimbabwe into chaos. But ZANU-PF sources said Finance Minister Tendai Biti, secretary general of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC, has refused orders from Mr. Mugabe.
Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Tsvangirai's remarks are a political ploy as he has always cooperated with him.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said he cannot violate the Constitution to please anyone. He has been at loggerheads recently with the president, who promised civil servants to give them a raise while Biti has insisted the government cannot afford to do so.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera says power sharing was always destined to fail.