MDC-M secretary-general and soon-to-be party president is a shrewd fellow with huge political ambitions but one who wants to be regarded as a magnanimous leader who avoids controversy.
Ncube is set to replace Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Arthur Mutambara as party leader after being unanimously nominated by 10 provinces to the position of president. He can no longer remain prudish.
Ncube has, in his latest act of perceived political uprightness, announced that Mutambara would remain DPM and his party would not recall him from the government.
The Sunday Mail yesterday quoted Ncube as saying Mutambara was a “capable leader”, and does not think the issue will be deliberated on at the party congress at the weekend.
He however said the party’s standing committee would deal with the issue and there was no reason to call for his redeployment in government.
Ncube’s comments come just a week after Mutambara announced that he was not running for re-election at the congress.
“I have done my part and I would like to give an opportunity to other colleagues to assume leadership positions,” he said.
Here was Mutambara trying to hide behind a democratic leaf and position himself as a progressive leader voluntarily stepping down from the party presidency to hand over power to colleagues.
Far from it, Mutambara has been forced into this position because he was rejected by his party.
He is now in the political wilderness because his major source of strength, Ncube, wants the throne for himself. Mutambara became DPM because he carried party mandate to do so.
That mandate has been withdrawn. The party is rallying behind Ncube instead.
By appearing to back Mutambara, Ncube is trying to send the message that he has no ambitions to become DPM. We find this position curious.
We believe Ncube does have big political ambitions hence his climb up the political ladder. Confronted with the question of his political ambitions, he has oftentimes said he would be guided by party supporters.
“If the congress selects me to be the party’s next president I will oblige because I cannot go against people’s wishes,” he said when asked about his ambitions to become party president.
And on whether he wanted to become president of Zimbabwe he maintained the same line. “As an individual I don’t,” he said. “To put yourself, up for that in a country such as this, it’s a tough call.
If you ask me if I would like to contest in an election as violent and emotionally draining as ours, I would say, ‘No, I would rather not.’ But if the party says do, I’ll do it just to comply with the wishes of the party.”
Ncube without any doubt is not in politics just to comply with the wishes of the people.
As a political leader he should avoid creating the impression that his actions stem from responsibilities or burdens foisted upon him by party supporters.
Ncube must come out openly to declare his political ambitions.
He is not taking over as party leader just to fulfil an administrative process at the congress. He has bigger plans. We see him “complying with the wishes of the party” to become deputy premier.
Ncube must be careful not to fall into the realm of “if people want me to stay then who am I to say no?” mantras. It is the source of our current problems.