Robert Mugabe’s spokesman attacks Welshman Ncube

Robert Mugabe will not endorse Welshman Ncube’s bid to take over as Deputy Prime Minister while his assumption of the leadership of the MDC remains disputed, Mugabe’s spokesman has announced.\r\n

Ncube recently announced changes to the MDC’s team in the coalition cabinet under which he would have taken over from Professor Arthur Mutambara as deputy premier, having replaced his as party leader.

However, Mugabe recently announced that he could not endorse the changes unless Mutambara voluntarily resigned from government attracting an angry response from the MDC which included barely disguised allegations of tribalism.

But Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba said Ncube must deal with the problems in his party without involving the President.

“It is not the business of the President to use his powers as an appointing authority to resolve the problems of a political party. Welshman Ncube must deal with the political problem in MDC arising from that party’s just-ended congress.

“That congress yielded a contested leadership and that is not President Mugabe’s problem. That congress yielded a contested recommendation to the Head of State and Government and again that is not President Mugabe’s problem,” Charamba said.

The MDC drew comparisons with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s reshuffle of his cabinet team last June but Charamba said the MDC-T changes were “straight forward” and not encumbered by legal challenges.

“Ncube cannot draw a comparison between the straightforward recommendations that the President got from MDC-T and his messy submission to the President.

“There are legal issues in the MDC case and it is not the business of the President to get entangled in them, let alone compound them, by simply obliging to a flawed request for fear of being labelled a tribalist. As a lawyer Welshman must know that,” Charamba charged.

Some members of the MDC are challenging in court the leadership changes made at during the party’s national congress last month.

Mutambara who has been out of the country attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland has not commented on the developments.