Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has defiantly dismissed recommendations by the Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiators to replace him with Welshman Ncube, one of the principals in the GPA, declaring that would never happen.
Ncube toppled Mutambara from the helm of MDC-N at the party’s congress in January this year.
As the new leader of the party, GPA negotiators from all Zimbabwe’s three main parties last Monday recommended to the other two principals, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to accept Ncube as one of theirs.
The negotiators put time frames on all issues they had agreed on, save for the constitution which would be determined by Copac.
They, however, left niggling issues, among them security sector reforms, to the principals.
There were concerns by the negotiators that MDC-N would be disadvantaged since their principal (Ncube) was not part of the meetings.
“I know for certain that the negotiators made the request (that Ncube be accommodated and Mutambara be dropped), but as far as we are concerned, it’s a closed chapter,” said Mutambara’s spokesperson Maxwell Zimuto.
“They can make the recommendation as many times as they want, but it will be rejected. Even if they recommend 100 times, it will be rejected 100 times. The principals rejected that bid on the 9th of May 2011 and nothing will change.”
GPA negotiators and Sadc recognise Ncube, who has a High Court order stopping Mutambara from “purporting” to be the leader of the party, as the leader of MDC-N.
Ncube has been invited to Sadc summits dealing with the Zimbabwe crisis as the MDC-N leader while Mutambara has received invitations in his capacity as the Deputy Premier.
In the election roadmap, negotiators rechristened the Ncube-led party MDC-N, and went on to define a principal as leader of a political party.
“He was part of the principals’ meeting on Wednesday which discussed civil servants’ salaries among other things. He will continue handling issues to do with the GPA. What the negotiators are doing by defining the word principal, is an attempt to rewrite the GPA, but they will not succeed,” said Zimuto.