Simmering conflicts and seasonal absences have undermined the ability of Zimbabwe's Cabinet to do business, say government sources who report that many ministers of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF have followed their leader on leave.
Other ZANU-PF ministers are said to be spending most of their time restructuring the party after a December conference focused on the next elections, or farming.
Many ministers are taking advantage of President Robert Mugabe’s annual leave. Mr Mugabe is said to be spending most of his time at his rural home in Zvimba in Mashonaland West province. He went on leave before Christmas.
The Cabinet has been on recess since Mr Mugabe went on leave and is therefore not in a position to take action to forestall a the looming strike by civil servants over pay.
Mr. Mugabe is due back at the end of the month - but will attend the African Union summit in Addis Ababa January 29-30 before returning.
Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that he does not know when ZANU-PF Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa went on leave.
But ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said ministers from his party take their work seriously and not all are involved in the restructuring of the party.