MDC Faction To Discipline Leader For Defying Party

Harare, – The smaller Movement for Democratic Change on Tuesday insisted its former President, currently one of Zimbabwe's two deputy Prime ministers, Arthur Mutambara, must resign from his government position.\r\n

Mutambara who lost as party president at a recent pary congress, has hold on to his deputy prime minister position, saying he had no intention to resign to pave way for the new president Professor Welshman Ncube. President Robert Mugabe has said it will be difficult to fire Mutambara from government as he is an ex officio Member of Parliament and that removing him for the Deputy Prime Minister’s post will have legal challenges.

Kurauone Chihwayi, deputy secretary for information and publicity, said the MDC will convene the party’s national council meeting to discuss the matter.

"The MDC has noted the press statement issued by Professor Arthur Mutambara rejecting the instruction of the party to re-deploy him to the Ministry of Regional and Intergration and International Co-operation. We wish to advise the public that the party will soon convene the party’s national council, the Supreme organ of the party in between Congresses to deliberate and make decisions over Professor Mutambara’s disobedience," Chihwayi said in a statement to the media.

"In the meantime we wish to place it on record that Arthur Mutambara attended the National council meeting of the 7th of January 2011 and also the congress on 8th and 9th January 2011 and formally stood down as party President at that congress. We also wish to state that it is the party that which nominated and seconded Arthur Mutambara to the position of Deputy Prime Minister and hence find it strange, in the extreme that he now thinks that he can occupy the same position without the blessing of the party."

"We re-affirm the position of the party to deploy its President to the position of Deputy Prime Minister of the country. We are still without doubt that President mugabe will respect the of the party," he said.

Mutambara on Monday said he does not recognize the leadership of Ncube saying he was not properly elected at the national party congress. He argued that the convener of the congress, the then chairperson, Joubert Mudzumwe did not attend the congress as per the country’s constitution.

"I have no intention whatsoever to leave the position of deputy minister in the inclusive government. I will not abdicate from my national responsibilities in order to satisfy narrow party-political aspirations," said Mutambara.

He said under the Global Political Agreement (GPA), there was no provision to remove a sitting deputy prime minister.

Ncube told Radio VOP on Tuesday that he will wait for a special national council meeting of his party" to decide the way forward.

“I have nothing to say, there shall be a national council meeting on Wednesday and it will discuss the matter,” he said.

However a former MDC party official, Gabriel Chaibva, believes Mutambara’s days in government are numbered.

“He is hanging by a thin thread. According to Article 19 of the GPA which is essentially about political parties, the parties can resort to section 41 of the Constitution which says he who appoints can recall,” said Chaibva.