Mugabe’s Ncube DPM snub a political ploy against MDC-T

THE recent statements made by Robert Mugabe in Ethiopia to the effect that he will not accept the “recall”of Aurthur Mutambara and hence the elevation of Welshman Ncube to the DPM post must be treated with a pinch of salt.

Whilst it is easy and tempting to interpret it as a tribally motivated snub to Welshman Ncube or ample evidence that Mutambara is a ZANU PF mole, a deeper analysis will reveal that the scheming octigenarion has an eye clearly on the upcoming elections and this dirty tactic is an attempt to outfox the MDC-T especially in Matebeleland

Mugabe is clearly aware that in the event that SADC forces him to stage a free and fair election withiout violence by the securocrats, the Matebeleland vote will be crucial and might be the kingmaker. As things stand right now, its a forgone conclusion that the MDC-T is going to sweep all the votes in Matebelaland including the 10 seats the Ncube faction won in 2008. For the elections in 2008 brought to finality in electoral terms, the question of who has broad support and therefore likely to unseat Mugabe

Although a lot of parties have been formed especially focusing on Matebelaland like ZAPU and Mthwakazi , the truth of the matter is that they are only a footnote in the upcoming elections.The people of Matebelaland are more likely to rally behind the MDC-T out of the realisation that it is the only party with a realistic possibility of unseating ZANU PF.

In March 2008, in some areas like Matebelaland South, the Mutambara backed Simba Mkaoni got a sizeable amount of votes because the people there had been convinced that he had a decent shot of unseating Mugabe. However, now that the reality is there for all to see, it does not need a rocket scientist to realise that Tsvangirai will romp home in Matebeleland in a free and fair election that has Mugabe and ZANU PF on the ballot

However, in the post-Mugabe and post ZANU PF era, it is quite possible that parties like Mthwakazi, ZAPU, PUMA and MDC-Ncube are likely to win elections in Matebeleland since some of the issues they articulate like federalism or even secession as in the case of Mthwakazi finds resonance with the people of Matebeleland. But they realise that the bigger elephant in the room is Mugabe therefore they are likey to vote more against Mugabe than for anyone but someone they feel can unseat Mugabe as the first stage in the marathon of the realisation of their dreams

Mugabe is clearly aware that MDC-T is headed for victory in Matebelaland and that MDC-N is headed for a burial, at least in the upcoming elections with Mugabe on the ballot.Therefore, the act of blocking Ncube from becoming the DPM is a machiavellian approach of elevating Ncube, and subsequently the tribe he seeks to represent, as being persecuted. This single act will definately elevate Ncube to the status of a martyr in the eyes of people of Matebeleland. As it is true in social phsychology, whenever a minority feel that it is being persecuted, it usually bands and rallies together as an act of defiance. That is why even with the 5th brigade running havoc and butchering Ndebele people in the most horiffic atrocities of our time, the people of Matebelaland in 1985 courageousily elected ZAPU and Nkomo

The calculation of Mugabe , who knows that outside of violence and intimidation, he has lost the vote of Matebeleland is to raise the profile of Ncube so as to make him a martyr in the hope that instead of the Matebelaland vote going to Tsvangirai as is most likely as long as Mugabe is on the ballot, the humiliation of Ncube will give him symphathy and votes rather than Tsvangirai in Matebeleland.

For despite what has been said in most quarters including by Dr Lovemore Madhuku and Proffessor Greg Linnington, that legally Mugabe has the right to accept or reject any appointee , Mugabe has no such legal powers. Madhuku argues that the constitution gives the power to Mugabe. However, what the learned collegues fail to appreciate is that the constitution, though its the supreme law of the land, can not be read outside of the GPA but must be read together with the GPA

For withiout the GPA, and in terms of the constitution, Mugabe can as well not appoint the Prime Minister since that position does not exist in the constitution but is a creation of the GPA.Withiout the GPA, then unelected officials like Mutambara, Ncube, Misihairabwi, Chinamasa etc have no business in government since the constitution says only MPs can be ministers.Hence it was the GPA that enabled these electoral rejects to be ministers in the first place

Madhuku also erroneousily argue that the language of "recalling" does not exist in the Zimbabwe as opposed to the South African constitution.The truth of the matter is that "recalling"does not exist even with the South African constitution. However, the reality of the matter is that in all political systems the world over where there is no direct election of individuals into national office as is with South Africa, it is political parties that contest and win elections and thus subsequently deploy people to government as president, prime minister or ministers. In the event that the political parties are not happy with the performance of the deployees, they can recall them and appoint others in their places

This is the current scenario in Zimbabwe because of the GPA .Each party can nominate people to be ministers but can recall them in what is generally called a cabinet reshuffle which is another name for recalling.Thus the MDC- T already did it with people like Mudzuri having already been recalled from government under the semantic of reshuffle. Reshuffling and recalling are one and the same thing

The way the GPA was written makes only 2 people immune to recalling in Zimbabwe, that is president Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai since the GPA clearly states that the president shall be Robert Mugabe and the Prime Minister shall be Morgan Tsvangirai. The GPA is silent on DPM and Ministers meaning that political parties can from time to time deploy any person as they deem fit. In short, strictly speaking there is absolutely no legal impediment from the recalling of Mutambara and his replacement with Ncube outside politics

Thus it is in the interest of the MDC- T and other progressive forces to put pressure on Mugabe so that he respects the wishes of the MDC-N. Keeping quite or supporting Mugabe will be falling for a well calculated Mugabe plot that seeks to elevate Welshman Ncube to a political martyr for the sake of electoral advantage in Matebeleland. Let Ncube rise and do nothing in the remaining limited timespan of the GPA as a ticket to his political burial not least in Matebeleland but everywhere across Zimbabwe

Garikai Agenda Chimuka is a member of the Dutch Third Chamber but writes in his individual capacity.