HomeLocal NewsMutambara antics hit snag

Mutambara antics hit snag


Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara reportedly tried to smuggle two members of his breakaway MDC party into the weekend Sadc Summit in South Africa, but was blocked and told to either attend alone or go back to Zimbabwe.

According to sources who attended the meeting, Mutambara travelled with national executive council member Tsitsi Dangarembga and national chairperson Joubert Mudzumwe with the intention of “smuggling” the two as his party negotiators.

NewsDay reported yesterday that according to the invitations to the Sadc Summit, the regional bloc indicated they recognised Mutambara only as the country’s Deputy Premier and not a principal.

Mutambara instead attended the burial of veteran nationalist Edgar Tekere at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare on Sunday while the country’s three other party leaders and their negotiators were attending the Sadc Summit.

“He abandoned the meeting after his failed attempt to smuggle in Dangarembga and Mudzumwe. He was told that under no circumstances would those two be allowed into the meeting,” said a source.

“He turned up at the National Heroes’ Acre for political mileage because his wishes had failed to prevail in South Africa. He left South Africa in solidarity with his two followers and the next place he could seek relevance was at the burial of Tekere.”

Efforts to get a comment from Mutambara were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered but his party spokesperson, Maxwell Zimuto, dismissed the allegations as “total madness”.

Zimuto confirmed they had sent Dangarembga and Mudzumwe as negotiators saying: “We had written to Sadc informing them that we had intentions of changing negotiators”.

“Mutambara came back on Saturday night before the summit kicked off. However, the two (Dangarembga and Mudzumwe) remained there.”

He went on: “Mutambara came back to bury a national hero as he was close to Tekere, a close colleague for more than 20 years. He felt that burying the national hero was more important than attending that meeting and that is also the position of our party.”

Zimuto could not say whether Dangarembga and Mudzumwe finally attended the summit, saying: “I do not know because they are not yet back.”

Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation, referred questions back to Mutambara saying: “Only the Deputy Prime Minister will tell you why he was at the Heroes’ Acre when others were discussing solutions for the country in South Africa.”

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