Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party, the MDC-T, has distanced itself from statements by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara about a breakthrough made during President Jacob Zuma’s visit last week.
The MDC-T said Mutambara was reading “from a different page” when he told a business gathering in Masvingo on Monday that the principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) had agreed to leave provincial governors controversially reappointed by President Robert Mugabe alone until there is decision from the courts.
Mutambara said the principals to the GPA made a breakthrough that will result in the uninterrupted flow of business in the Senate and that the issue of governors had also been resolved.
He said the principals agreed to recall the Senate and enable it to debate Bills and the 2011 National Budget. Senate had adjourned to next year following disruptive behaviour by MDC-T.
Senators from the MDC-T have resolved to disrupt every sitting of the Upper House protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s re-appointment of provincial governors who sit in the Senate.
The Premier has petitioned the High Court to nullify the appointments.
MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa, said in an interview with NewsDay that Mutambara was “reading from a different page or maybe from a different book altogether”.
“Professor Mutambara is speaking for his party and I am speaking on behalf of the MDC,” Chamisa said after consulting Tsvangirai on the party position.
“He is reading from a different page. Maybe it is not only a different page but a different book altogether.”
He said the issue of governors, despite being brought to the High Court, remained an outstanding issue which the guarantors to the GPA should address.
“The issue of governors is still an outstanding issue which must be dealt with in the context of the guarantor,” Chamisa said.
“I do not know which meeting Professor Mutambara is referring to. The position is that the issue of governors is a sticking point and an outstanding issue.”
On claims by Mutambara that the principals agreed that disruptions should be stopped to allow the Senate to sit without disturbances, Chamisa said: “Our position is that things must normalise for the purposes of the Budget. It has to be debated and passed.”
Chamisa said the issue of politically-motivated violence escalating in the countryside was also raised during Zuma’s visit.
“The issue of violence was raised,” Chamisa said.
“Our understanding in the party is that there are outstanding issues such as the scourge of violence that is beginning in the countryside.”
Zuma was in Harare to cool flaring tempers among the principals which were threatening the continued existence of the inclusive government.