MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa has come out guns blazing against Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara describing him as “lost and mistaken” for claiming that the mainstream MDC was unprepared for elections any time soon.
Chamisa said the robotics professor should concentrate on his waning political star instead of dwelling on whether the larger faction of the MDC was ready for polls.
He was reacting to remarks by the former student activist — who switched from academics to plunge into Zimbabwe’s treacherous political waters — at a public policy dialogue where Mutambara claimed the MDC-T was now enjoying the trappings of power therefore not interested in polls.
This is despite calls by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai that his party supporters should brace for elections expected to be held next year if President Robert Mugabe gets his way.
At the meeting organised by Sapes Trust headed by academic and publisher Ibbo Mandaza, Mutambara, who is facing a rebellion from within his party for siding with President Mugabe’s politics, said: “MDC-T is not confident on an election. I am just coming from Parliament, (where) ministers, who will remain nameless, were begging Welshman (Ncube), were begging me: ‘What can we do? We can’t have this election’.
“They were saying: ‘Can you go and talk to this old man (President Mugabe)?’ — MDC-T ministers, when they appear on TV, say ‘we are ready’. Tendai Biti, Chamisa are enjoying ruling. Do you think they want to go home next year? You are lying.”
When approached by NewsDay, Chamisa said Mutambara’s utterances were “stupid and rubbish”.
“Do you think we enjoy being driven around in government vehicles?” Chamisa asked. “We are in prison. He himself (Mutambara) is enjoying that and he should stop appropriating a job that is not his for himself.
“We have able persons in our party, he (Mutambara) should be focusing on issues in his party.”
Chamisa said to the contrary Mutambara, who dismally lost the Zengeza West seat in Chitungizwa during the 2008 synchronised polls, was afraid of elections as his time in government would come to a “screeching halt”.
“He is completely mistaken and lost because he doesn’t know how we function as a party,” Chamisa said. “I don’t know where he gets that from. Mutambara should speak on his behalf and his party.
He is not my spokesperson neither is he Biti’s unless he has hired himself to be one seeing as he is on the brink of being fired.
“We have not hired him unless if he is looking for another job. Besides, what motivates him to say that?”
Chamisa said the focus should be on the conditions for holding free and fair elections not about readiness.
“For some of us our destination is democracy, real change and it’s not about individuals,” Chamisa said. “We are vessels of the people. We are here on behalf of the people and not to say we are enjoying.
We are actually getting peanuts. Mutambara should tell people that he is not ready and stop saying that we are not ready.”
President Mugabe wants a referendum on the new constitution to be held next March and the polls in June.