Mugabe Outfoxes Tsvangirai Again, Extends Service Chiefs' Terms to 2014

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba told state controlled media that Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, together with four other service chiefs,  Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga,  Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda (Zimbabwe National Army), Air Marshal Perrance Shiri (Air Force of Zimbabwe) and Retired Major General Paradzai Zimondi (Commissioner of Prisons) will now enjoy fresh terms up to 2014.

In reappointing Chihuri, Charamba insisted Mugabe was exercising his constitutional powers adding that this he did after consulting the Police Service Commission as is required by the law.

“It is that opinion, which guided the President in arriving at a decision,” Charamba said.

“It is on that basis that the President extended the (Police) Commissioner-General’s term of office to 2014.”

The clandestine appointments will shock Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who on Wednesday told the media they had agreed as GPA principals meeting to withhold Chihuri’s reappointment until the Police Service Commission and other commissions have been reconstituted to give them the legal base to make the recommendations.

“A Commissioner of Police and the commander of the armed forces cannot be appointed without the recommendation of the commission and the commission for the police has not been regularised,” Tsvangirai told journalists during a surprise joint press briefing with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara at his Strathaven low density suburb house.

The MDC-T leader stood adamant he will have a say in the appointment of a new police boss insisting the GPA grants him those powers.

“Once that process has been finalised, we then have to discuss with the President about recommendations from the commission.”

Tsvangirai said Chihuri was there merely in an acting capacity.

But Charamba shot this down saying Chihuri was now substantive police boss.

“The law has been fulfilled and the decision taken is irrevocable,” he said, adding that this applied to all the other appointments.

“Their terms of office have been extended. This is a unique service, one area of public service where things must happen to law and to book.

“The chain of command is not based on half assumptions and tentative decision.

“There is no room for ambiguity. Disturbing and destabilising the chain of command never bodes well for the security of the State.

“There is finality and closure to the whole debate.”

Mugabe has also defended his controversial promotion of talkative army chief Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba.

“His promotion was based on seniority. His political utterances are a matter for the Defence Minister. His appointment is valid,” Charamba said.