Mutambara faces arrest

THE Welshman Ncube-led MDC is seeking the arrest of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on contempt of court charges for his continued representing of the party during the weekly inclusive government principals’ meeting.

The party said it would seek Mutambara’s arrest.

The MDC said it would also file court contempt charges against President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for allowing Mutambara to attend the weekly indabas held every Monday by the three principals.

For attending the weekly principals’ meeting, officials in the MDC said Mutambara was in violation of a recent High Court directive barring him from exercising any function vested in the president of the party.

“We are filing court contempt charges against Mutambara because he should not be attending the principals’ meeting since he is not the MDC leader,” Edwin Ndlovu, the MDC Bulawayo spokesperson, told NewsDay on Sunday.

“He is violating a court order and should be arrested. He can do any other functions of the DPM, but not any other functions relating to the party that principals discuss every Monday,” Ndlovu said.

Lawyer Josphat Tshuma, who is representing the MDC, confirmed he was filing papers against Mutambara for violating a High Court interim relief barring him from representing the party.

Qhubani Moyo, a senior MDC official, last week said Mutambara was a “dangerous element to democracy for undermining the judiciary by his violation of the interim order”.

“The act of attending the meeting of principals is a clear contempt of the High Court ruling and a clear sign of undermining of the judiciary. This is particularly sad coming from someone who has always claimed to be a champion of democracy and human rights,” Moyo said last week.

Mutambara’s attempts to regain control of the MDC suffered a huge knock after Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Ndou ruled he could not purport to be president of the party until the leadership dispute was fully resolved.

The interim relief granted by Justice Ndou reads:

“The respondent is interdicted from exercising any function vested in the president of the MDC and/or principal in the inclusive government pending the finalisation of the matter in case number HH612/11.”

Mutambara is challenging the court interdict.

Yesterday, Mutambara’s spokesperson Maxwell Zimuto said he would not comment on issues that were being dealt with by the courts.

“Ncube, as a lawyer, should know that making a comment now on a case which is sub judice is improper. I do not want to be dragged into matters that are being dealt with by the courts and it would be unfair for me to comment on the issue now,” he said.

“However, in any case, is being a party president equal to being a principal?”

The Ncube-led MDC approached the court seeking an order barring Mutambara from performing duties of party president.

Mutambara has, however, refused to step down since Ncube took over as leader during the party’s congress in January.

The saga has seen President Mugabe taking sides with Mutambara, telling Ncube he will not swear him in, no matter what happens.

Ncube’s camp hit back saying they had “donated” Mutambara and the DPM post to Zanu PF.

But Mutambara continues to claim the presidency to the party and reports last month indicated he was considering sacking ministers Ncube, David Coltart and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and had allegedly already approached several party MPs offering them ministerial appointments.  – NewsDay