Mutambara defiant

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Defiant Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Arthur Mutambara on Thurday insisted he was still a principal to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) despite being sidelined by negotiators.

Mutambara’s camp said the robotics professor will continue attending meetings of the principals to the GPA.

Two GPA principals are Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe and MDC-T’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The third principal, according to the GPA negotiators is MDC leader Welshman Ncube.

In the election roadmap presented to principals last week, GPA negotiators said Mutambara should no longer be recognised as principal.

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

Yesterday, Mutambara’s spokesperson Maxwell Zimuto, said defining the word “principal” or naming MDC, MDC-N was tantamount to rewriting the GPA.

“There are three principals to the GPA, President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. And as far as we are concerned, the roadmap remains just a document until the principals, who include Mutambara, approve it,” said Zimuto.

“The negotiators also don’t have a mandate to redefine the provisions of the GPA. In the GPA, the word principal is not defined and for them to start defining it now is gibberish. They can’t rename the party MDC-N because in the GPA, the party is named MDC-M after Mutambara.

“Mutambara therefore remains a principal. There are three parties in the GPA, Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC-M.”

Zimuto accused Ncube’s camp of using the negotiating forum to try to dislodge Mutambara after “failing to do so using the courts and political means”.

Mutambara was deposed from the helm of MDC-M by his former secretary-general 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 Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai as a principal.

But according to the negotiators, Mutambara should now not be recognised as a principal.

“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 roadmap.

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

During the review of the GPA, MDC-N negotiators complained bitterly about the interference of other players in their internal affairs, particularly President Mugabe, who has refused to swear-in Ncube.

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.

Ncube was recognised as the leader of the MDC by the Sadc Troika on Defence, Politics and Security during last month’s meeting in Zambia while Mutambara was recognised as DPM.