Jobless Ncube to beg Mugabe over Mutambara

HARARE -Professor Welshman Ncube has requested an audience with President Robert Mugabe to try and beg him to accept the proposed recall of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara from his post in government.\r\n

But the signs on the ground do not look encouraging. Mugabe, who was attending the African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia last week, has already signaled his intention to keep the robotics professor in government.

The smaller faction of the MDC said it will formally announce to Mugabe the leadership changes and their bid to have Mutambara re-assigned in government.

In an interview with the Daily News, MDC deputy spokesperson Kuraone Chihwayi, said his party had sent a letter to the President’s Office,seeking a meeting with him.

”Our party leadership shall be meeting with Mugabe this week and brief him on the leadership changes in our party. We hope that Mugabe will respect the MDC position on the re-deployments,” said Chihwayi.

“None of the principals in the GPA should stand in our way because we deserve respect as partners in the inclusive government.

”We were informed by his (Mugabe’s) office that upon his return from the AU summit, we shall have the chance to meet and brief him on the new politically developments in our party,” he said.

Chihwayi said their congress endorsed the leadership of Ncube and they did not anticipate any legal problems from that appointment.

”We have a new leadership that was chosen by all our provinces and Mutambara is aware of that fact. He was voted out office and was assigned to another ministerial post,” he said.

“He did not contest that decision. This is what we want to brief Mugabe so that we can clear the air and confusion surrounding the Deputy Prime Minister’s position.”

But Mugabe, while in Addis Ababa, made it clear that removing Mutambara from his position as the DPM poses serious legal problems for him.

The veteran leader’s statement resonates sharply with legal opinion made by constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku, who has consistently said at law, Mutambara can remain in office unless he is fired by Mugabe.

“This (removing Mutambara from his post) creates legal problems,” Mugabe told the local media in Addis Ababa.

“Politically, they were able to remove him but legally, we swore him in a Member of Parliament and I swore him as deputy prime minister…it is up to him if he wants to resign and if he refuses to resign we are stuck. Bu the GPA will move ahead.”

Instead, Mugabe questioned Ncube’s ascendancy to the position of the MDC presidency by questioning  his party’s congress.

Said Mugabe: “I thought this is the opposition which was crying out Zanu PF is undemocratic. I don’t know whether people really took the decision that came out of that congress.”

Disgruntled members of the MDC have petitioned the High Court to annul results of the elections.

Led by Joubert Mudzumwe, the members accuse Ncube of using undemocratic and illegal means to hold the congress.

But Ncube has been unrelenting in his push to become DPM and represent his party in government.

He has already reshuffled his team by naming Mutambara new minister of Regional and Integration Affairs, while assigning incumbent Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga to his former post at Industry and International Trade.

Ncube’s critics blame him for playing the tribal card and have warned that his party will suffer heavy defeats in the next polls.

The much-maligned professor of law in 2005 led a breakaway faction,predominantly Ndebele, from the original MDC led by Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai.

Ncube and Tsvangirai had clashed over the party’s participation in the senatorial elections, resulting in the fall-out. – Daily News