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Mutambara refuses to go

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Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara yesterday filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court seeking to overturn Thursday’s High Court judgment barring him from “masquerading” as MDC president.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha also ruled that Mutambara must stop acting as one of the principals in the unity government.

In his notice of appeal filed in Harare yesterday, Mutambara said the High Court erred in holding that the essentials for the granting of an interdict were met as required to be established.

He said the court erred in ruling that the MDC president is equated to a principal.

“The word ‘principal’ was not defined in the Global Political Agreement (GPA),” he argued through his lawyers, Mbidzo, Muchadehama & Makoni.

“It is submitted that in the inclusive government, “principal” refers to the persons who signed the GPA and continued to engage each other and others in respect to things that occurred and were occurring since the signing of the GPA.”

Mutambara signed the GPA alongside President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T), when he was still leader of the smaller MDC faction.

He was replaced as MDC president by Welshman Ncube at the party’s congress early this year, but refused to relinquish his post as Deputy Prime Minister.

“The dispute as to who was the rightful president of the MDC was still pending in HC 612/11,” Mutambara’s lawyers argued.

“In any event, there are various offshoots of the MDC.”

Meanwhile, the MDC yesterday maintained that Mutambara must resign from his post or risk being embarrassed after being ordered to relinquish the position.

“We are very much happy with the High Court ruling which confirms the order against Mutambara,” MDC provincial spokesman Edwin Ndlovu said in a statement.

“We call upon him to resign than to further embarrass him. The Deputy Prime Minister’s post legally belongs to MDC and we politically donated it to Zanu PF.”

The robotics professor initially endorsed Ncube’s ascendancy in a speech he gave at the congress. But he made a U-turn after he was asked to step down as Deputy Prime Minister and make way for the new party leader.

About 12 disgruntled MDC officials challenged Ncube’s election at the High Court and threw their weight behind Mutambara. The matter is still to be heard by the High Court.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai sided with Mutambara in the dispute, saying they could not force him to step down as the matter was sub judice (awaiting judicial determination).

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