FOLLOWING the historic signing of what I refer to as the “Rainbow Political Agreement”
(named after the hotel where the final agreement was reached and the signing ceremony was conducted; and the metaphor of a rainbow) on September 14, five key procedures require immediate attention.
The first step was done last Saturday just before the signing ceremony, in which the ministries were created.
Disappointingly, the principals elevated what one could have expected to be departments into full ministries. This was done in a desperate attempt to have 31 ministries and jobs for boys.
For example, it is a waste of resources to have the following as separate ministries:
1. Prisons and Correctional Services
2. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
3. Information Communication Technology
4. Public Works
5. Public Service
Going by this ill-advised, duplicating and overlapping list and using the South African format of clustering ministries, the principals should organise the ministries into clusters as follows:
(1) Security, Law and Justice cluster:
2. Home Affairs
3. Justice and Legal Affairs
4. Prisons and Correctional Services
5. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
(2) Foreign relations cluster
1. Foreign Affairs
2. Regional Integration and International Trade
4. National Housing and Social Amenities
5. Information Communication Technology
6. Water Resources and Management
7. Science and Technology Development
(5) Social services cluster
1. Education, Sports, Arts and Culture
2. Health and Child Welfare
3. Labour and Social Services
4. Womenâ€™s Affairs, Gender and Community Development
5. Higher and Tertiary Education
6. Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment
(6) Intergovernmental co-ordination cluster
1. Public Service
2. Local Government, Urban and Rural Development
3. Media, Information and Publicity
Thirdly, the principals will have to agree as to which ministries will have deputies and that no party shall have its own as a minister and a deputy.
The fourth step will be the allocation of ministries to each of the three parties.
There is no better allocation than asking the three principals one after the other, to indicate preferred ministries from each partyâ€™s priority list, cluster by cluster, until they are all shared.
The fifth step will be to assign persons to each ministry.
Clause 20.1.2. of the agreement stipulates that “the President and Prime Minister will agree on the allocation of ministries between them for the purpose of day-to-day supervision” and 20.1.3 (l) also stipulates that after consultation with the vice presidents, the prime minister and deputy prime ministers, the president will allocate ministerial portfolios in accordance with the agreement.
Guided by the principle, “let the best person be appointed for each government responsibility”, each principal will propose three nominees in order of preference for each of the ministries allocated for each of the political parties.
A leadership in each of the political parties should not be guarantee of a ministerial portfolio.
The three names-list is meant to allow the President, Vice Presidents and Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers wider choices to settle on the best candidate or compromise nominee in the event there is little or no consensus on the ministerial nominees.
After the assigning of the ministerial portfolios, the President shall make a formal announcement.
By Levi Mhaka