Messy split looms for MDC

HARARE – The smaller faction of the MDC could be headed for a messy and shabby split if Welshman Ncube fails in his bid to convince President Robert Mugabe to allow him to become Deputy Prime Minister, a political analyst has said.\r\n

The split could even result in deposed party president Arthur Mutambara leading the original party.

A desperate Ncube is scheduled to meet Mugabe soon to try and convince the Zanu PF leader that he should take over from Mutambara as Deputy Prime Minister.

Ncube has been dealt a body-blow by the incumbent who has refused to step down from government to allow the law professor to take over following his ascendancy to the presidency of his party in January.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure, the director of Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), told Daily News that the future of Ncube in the short to medium term will depend on his scheduled meeting with  President Mugabe.

“Clearly, things are getting shabby and messy in that party. There is a likelihood of the party splitting and Mutambara leading the original MDC and have the original signatory to the Global Political Agreement (GPA),” said Masunungure.

He said if Mugabe refused to accede to Ncube’s demands, then that would seal Welshman’s fate in the GPA because “he would never land the Deputy Prime Minister’s post”.

“In the short to medium term, Ncube’s political career can be damaged but he can comeback, re-strategise and play his cards well, but it’s not looking too good for him,” Masunungure said.

Mutambara on Monday told journalists that he was not relinquishing his post, and railed into Ncube whom he said was illegally elected at the party’s congress in January.

His statement has made a mockery of his supposed political demise which had been suggested by the media in recent weeks.

"I will not abdicate from my national responsibilities in order to satisfy narrow party-political aspirations. In our national constitution, there is no facility for a political party to recall a sitting Deputy Prime Minister," said Mutambara.

"I am not a constituency based MP elected on a party ticket. Consequently no political party can recall me from parliament.”

"Until the High Court makes its ruling in this matter, I, Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and one of the three signatories of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which led to the formation of the inclusive government, will not recognise Professor Welshman Ncube as the president of the party,” said the robotics professor.

A group, led by former chairman Joubert Mudzumwe, has petitioned the High Court seeking to annul the results of the congress which ushered in a new leadership fronted by Ncube.

Ncube  appeared to have successfully worked his way to the post of DPM when Mutambara did not offer himself for re-election after
witnessing dirty and underhand tactics that would have exposed him to humiliation had he stood for the elections.

Last week, Ncube threatened to withdraw from the inclusive government as the leader of the MDC after Mugabe told journalists in Ethiopia that Mutambara himself had the final say on his so called recalling from government.

A fuming Ncube brandished Mugabe a tribalist, but neutrals have said the professor’s handling of his party affairs and the “shameless” pressure on Mutambara to resign from government smack of tribalism.

Constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku, had already predicted that Mutambara was safe in government and would not step aside to make way for Ncube.

He told this paper, which first broke the story, that political morality would encourage Ncube to negotiate for Mutambara’s exit but legally the DPM was on firm ground as only Mugabe would have the prerogative of either firing him or suspending him from government.  – Daily News