MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga told The Standard that the two continue to support and “protect” Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara despite a recent High court ruling ordering him to stop masquerading as both a principal in the coalition government and president of the party now led by Ncube.
“The recent court judgment was clear in that Mutambara is not a principal and there is no basis for him to remain in the inclusive government,” she said. “Mugabe and Tsvangirai have showed that they do not care about the judgment and have taken a political decision to keep him in government for purely different reasons.”
Misihairambwi-Mushonga alleged that Mugabe wanted to keep Mutambara in government to render the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the negotiating process dysfunctional.
Tsvangirai, she added, also wanted the robotics professor to stay because of his “personal hatred” for Ncube who cannot be swayed on matters of principle and policy.
Bad blood between Tsvangirai and Ncube was clearly shown in 2005 when the MDC broke into two factions. Ncube led the faction that supported senatorial elections while Tsvangirai’s camp boycotted the polls dismissing them as unnecessary, costly and an undemocratic constitutional change.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga added: “There is a group within Zanu PF and the CIO who want to create chaos by keeping Mutambara in government so that the GPA is not fully implemented.”
She said Tsvangirai was shooting himself in the foot by entering a partnership with Mugabe and Mutambara thinking he was fixing Ncube.
She said Mutambara’s presence in the coalition government was now illegal but Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who were empowered to remove him, had entered into a “marriage of convenience” and deliberately failing to enforce the rule of law.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga said during the inter-party anti-violence indaba held in November, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and some intelligence officials tried to sneak in representatives from the Mutambara faction, a move which was however, thwarted by her party.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora dismissed claims that Mugabe and Tsvangirai were conniving to block Ncube’s ascendency by supporting Mutambara.
“Ncube is dying a natural political death,” he said. “He has shown very awkward leadership qualities. In fact, Ncube is the most trigger-happy president of a political party, as evidenced by his firing of elected parliamentarians from his formation.”
He said Mugabe’s and Tsvangirai’s hands were tied because the dispute between Ncube and Mutambara has still not been finalised by the courts.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba or Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment.
Mutambara recently appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling which ordered him to stop masquerading as a GNU principal and MDC president.
He has also lodged a complaint with Judge President Justice George Chiweshe alleging that Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, who delivered the ruling against him, should have recused himself in the matter as he was a close relative of Ncube.
But Misihairambwi-Mushonga dismissed the allegations saying the matter was heard before Justice Kamocha who made the judgment. Justice Mathonsi only read the judgment on behalf of Kamocha who was not present on that day, she said.
“They (Mutambara faction) are really desperate and coming with these ridiculous allegations. They are clutching at straws,” she said.
Meanwhile, Misihairambwi-Mushonga warned that Zanu PF risks committing political suicide if Mugabe goes ahead to unilaterally declare elections before the implementation of the agreed roadmap and against the recommendation of Sadc.
She said if he turns against Sadc, Mugabe will be isolated like what happened to some North African dictators such as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi who were shunned by the Arab League during the Arab Spring uprisings.
PM’s hatred of Ncube documented: Mushonga
Asked why she thought Tsvangirai had a personal hatred for Ncube, Misihairambwi-Mushonga claimed that this was well-documented.
“Tsvangirai hates Ncube with a passion. He wrote disparaging remarks about Ncube in his book At the Deep End calling him a termite,” she alleged.
But recent reports show that Ncube has been on the war path, ridiculing Tsvangirai at each and every occasion.
Tsvangirai recently said he was surprised that Ncube continues to attack him personally, instead of marketing his party policies to the people of Zimbabwe.