The MDC faction led by Professor Welshman Ncube has claimed in court that Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Arthur Mutambara begged them to allow him to retain his government post despite losing the party presidency.
According to an urgent chamber application filed in the High Court to bar Mutambara from “purporting” to be president of the party, MDC secretary-general, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Mutambara had made the plea both before and after the party’s national standing committee resolved to redeploy him to a ministerial post.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Mutambara had visited her at her house asking her to convene a meeting with party leader Welshman Ncube to discuss his role in the inclusive government.
“The respondent then requested the president of MDC to make representations on his behalf to the party’s standing committee, the very leadership he claims now not to recognise, for that leadership to allow him to remain in the position of DPM until June 2011 to enable him to complete programmes such as the rebranding programme he said he was still working on,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said in her founding affidavit.
“This was communicated to the standing committee which maintained its decision and that position was again communicated to the respondent.
“Prior to that, on Thursday 20 January 2011 the respondent approached me at my house asking me in my capacity as secretary-general to convene a meeting with the president of the party to discuss his (the respondent’s) role in the inclusive government.
“He made a variety of suggestions which would enable him to remain as DPM but which would also enable the president of the party to play his role as principal under the Global Political Agreement.”
Addressing a press conference after the party’s national council meeting which resolved to expel Mutambara, Misiharabwi-Mushonga told reporters that Mutambara was desperate for the DPM post.
“He is desperate for the DPM post and that which comes with it. He told me ‘you can take away everything as long as I remain as DPM’,” she said.
Ncube was elected MDC president at the party’s national congress last month, after the former student leader pulled out of the race.
Mutambara has however refused to relinquish his position as party leader and as DPM, leading to a circus which has spilled into the courts.
The High Court has since ruled Mutambara could not claim the party presidency.