MDC-T has clashed with one of its breakaway factions (MDC-M) over Deputy Prime Minister Authur Mutambara’s letter to Sadc facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma, in which the outspoken politician claimed principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) had agreed to appoint provincial governors the day sanctions are lifted.
Mutambara — who leads the smaller faction of MDC — claims he wrote the letter on August 5 to update Zuma on the progress achieved in implementing the GPA on behalf of, and with the blessings of the other two principals – President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The letter stated all the principals had agreed on 24 of the 27 outstanding issues.
But Tsvangirai’s MDC-T has distanced itself from Mutambara’s letter, saying it distorted the status of outstanding issues.
MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said Tsvangirai did not know anything about the letter and accused Mutambara of trying to rewrite the GPA.
“I have been speaking to the Prime Minister and he knows nothing about that issue. He never supported it,” said Chamisa.
“In fact it is a new position. It’s rewriting the GPA, it is tantamount to shredding the GPA. It’s very unfortunate that we have some merchants of parroting and bickering in the inclusive government.”
He said the Deputy Prime Minister should know that he was not the MDC-T spokesperson.
Chamisa said there was no link between the lifting of sanctions and the appointment of governors.
On Wednesday, Mutambara confirmed writing the letter but accused Zanu PF and the MDC-T of misleading the nation by “spinning” the issue to suit their positions.
Mutambara said the official position was: “Governors should be appointed simultaneously with efforts to have sanctions lifted.”
“It was agreed that all issues in the GPA must be implemented concurrently and simultaneously with efforts to have the sanctions lifted. This means that provincial governors should be appointed but all parties must genuinely work towards ensuring that sanctions are removed,” he said.
“But Zanu PF is spinning the issue and saying provincial governors can only be appointed once sanctions are removed while MDC is spinning the issue and are saying there is no link between sanctions and provincial governors. Mutambara is not spinning anything.”
Mutambara said the implementation of GPA issues was linked to sanctions after concerns that some members of the inclusive government were privately campaigning for sanctions to remain in place.
He said evidence from official documents suggested that some ministers and diplomats were working to ensure that sanctions remained in place although publicly denouncing them.
Mutambara said he wrote the letter to Zuma on August 5 in full agreement with President Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
“What I wrote to Zuma was written on behalf of the three; myself, President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai. If you check, none of them is complaining. The letter was written after full and comprehensive consultations. That’s why (President) Mugabe has not challenged it, that’s why PM Tsvangirai has not challenged it either. The people who are challenging the letter are just busybodies,” he said.
Mutambara said he had earlier written to Zuma on June 10 after being asked to do so by the principals.
“Actually, that Zuma report (at the Sadc summit in Namibia) was based on my report of 10 June, which I wrote on behalf of the principals.
“People have been glorifying Zuma’s report, but you cannot have your cake and eat it too. If you love Zuma’s report you have to love Mutambara’s report.” Last year, the three parties reached consensus on the allocation of provincial governors’ posts.
The parties agreed that the party with the highest number of votes in each province would claim the governorship of that province.
Under the criterion, MDC-T would get governorship of Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland North while Zanu PF would claim Midlands, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central.
MDC-M would take charge of Matabeleland South.