PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wants President Robert Mugabe to immediately fire his deputy Arthur Mutambara in order to fully comply with the recent Sadc resolution confirming the country’s GPA principals, MDC leader Welshman Ncube has disclosed.
Report by Patrice Makova
Ncube told The Standard on Saturday that although he was yet to directly speak to the MDC-T leader, the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti had informed him that Tsvangirai had told Mugabe to fire Mutambara.
“My understanding after a meeting with Biti is that Tsvangirai insisted Mugabe should respect the Sadc resolution and immediately remove Mutambara from the position of DPM,” he said.
Ncube said other senior MDC-T officials among them Biti, Minister of State in the PM’s Office, Jameson Timba and Energy and Power Development minister, Elton Mangoma, were all in agreement that Mutambara had no business in government.
Timba yesterday said each party had the prerogative to nominate or recall its members.
Contacted for comment, spokesperson for the Prime Minister, Luke Tamborinyoka could neither confirm nor deny that Tsvangirai wanted Mutambara to be fired so that Ncube could replace him.
“I have not spoken to my principal about the issue,” said Tamborinyoka. “So I am not aware if that is the position.”
But sources insisted Tsvangirai really wanted to go by what Sadc said, to have Mutambara replaced by Ncube.
Biti and Mutambara could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Ncube said he met Mugabe on Thursday and the Zanu PF leader finally agreed to have him as a principal but on a limited role.
“He agreed that the correct person to deal with on the political processes is myself and not DPM Mutambara,” he said. “He made it clear that when discussing government programmes, he will only talk to Mutambara and Tsvangirai. This is wrong because Mutambara represents no one and has no single minister in cabinet.”
Sadc at its 32nd heads of state and government summit in Maputo, Mozambique confirmed Ncube as the third principal in the country in addition to Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
The South African facilitation team, which is expected to arrive in the country on Tuesday, has said it would no longer deal with Mutambara as a principal.
Mutambara, who is contesting the leadership of the MDC in the courts, was said to have attacked Zuma during the Sadc Troika meeting, accusing the South African leader of sidelining him when he visited Harare recently.
He accused Zuma of bias towards Ncube who is his in-law. Ncube has however rubbished the claims that Zuma favoured him.
Zuma recently refused to meet Mutambara during his visit to Harare to engage party political leaders ahead of the Sadc summit in Maputo, saying the deputy premier did not have a party and was not involved directly in the constitution-making process as he had no negotiators and a Copac co-chairperson.
A fuming Mutambara followed Zuma to Maputo where he confronted him and launched a tirade at the Sadc facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mutambara is said to have demanded to know why he had not been invited to a meeting of government of national unity (GNU) leaders in Harare where Zuma met Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube.