Mutambara in the cold


Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has been left in the cold and will no longer be treated as one of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals, according to the election roadmap.

This means Mutambara will no longer take part in future meetings between principals, the Attorney General and heads of security forces, which are part of the agreed conditions in the election roadmap.

Mutambara was deposed from the helm of MDC-M by his former secretary-general Welshman Ncube, during the party’s congress in January this year, but refused to relinquish his position as DPM and principal.

He has been attending meetings with President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a principal.

However, according to the election roadmap presented to the principals last week, the negotiators agreed Ncube was the principal and that he will be attending meetings of principals.

“For the purposes of this document, the MDC formation led by Dr M Tsvangirai will be referred to as MDC-T and that led by Prof W Ncube as MDC-N,” reads part of the introduction of the roadmap.

The roadmap goes further to state that wherever the word “principal” appears, in the roadmap, it would mean “the presidents of political parties”.

According to the roadmap, the principals have been given critical tasks to ensure the country holds an undisputable election.

This includes meeting with the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Augustine Chihuri and the heads of other security and intelligence institutions “to ensure full commitment to operate in a non-partisan manner consistent with the GPA”.

The meeting with Chihuri is also meant to ensure that freedom of association and freedom of assembly is respected.

The principals are also supposed to meet Attorney General Johannes Tomana to ensure he operates in a non-partisan manner.

Mutambara’s snubbing comes at a time when President Mugabe, is said to have also given up on the robotics professor amid indications he will ask him to resign, paving way for Ncube to assume the deputy premiership.

President Mugabe has reportedly been reluctant to swear-in Ncube arguing he had a good working relationship with Mutambara among other things.

Ncube was however recognised as the leader of MDC by the Sadc Troika on defence, politics and security during last month’s meeting in Zambia while Mutambara, was recognised as the DPM.

Sadc facilitator in the Zimbabwean crisis, South African President Jacob Zuma, is said to have questioned President Mugabe privately on why he was subverting the will of MDC-N by keeping Mutambara in government after he lost his party’s presidency.