Mugabe, Tsvangirai Snub Ncube

Mutambara has refused to relinquish the DPM’s post despite losing the presidency of the smaller MDC faction to Ncube during the party’s congress in January. The impasse has meant that MDC is not represented at the meeting of principals that reviews the performance of the unity government.

Ncube’s party said its leader and secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga five weeks ago met Mugabe proposing a creation of a forum for party leaders.

The forum “would help prevent the collapse of co-operation among the three parties to the GPA arising out of President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s insistence of retaining Prof. Mutambara as Deputy Prime Minister and so called principal with responsibility to make decisions over issues emanating from political parties such as the election roadmap,” MDC said in a statement on Tuesday.

The party said Mugabe had indicated that he had no problems with the idea and asked Ncube and Mushonga to consult Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai reportedly said he had no problems with it as well and promised to consult Mugabe.

“On Tuesday 12th July 2011, the president of the MDC and the secretary general met President Mugabe and requested a feedback on what the outcome of the discussion with the Prime Minister on this issue was,” the small MDC faction noted in a statement.

“President Mugabe advised them that he and PM Tsvangirai had met the previous day and had both agreed that they preferred to maintain the status quo and that they both preferred to wait for the court processes to run their course.”

MDC said it was not bound by the decisions Mugabe and Tsvangirai took in their meetings with Mutambara.

The revelations were made in response to a story by the state owned Herald newspaper claiming that Tsvangirai had tried to smuggle in Ncube as a principal through the party leaders.

The paper claimed Tsvangirai was doing this to soften Ncube’s MDC to join a united front against Zanu (PF) in the next polls.

MDC said it was taking the case to the Zimbabwe Media Commission because the story was a “complete fabrication having no foundation in fact.” It said it had also not been involved in any talks with the mainstream MDC led by Tsvangirai (MDC-T) for an election pact.

The Herald cited unnamed sources backing its claims of the alleged electoral pact and Tsvangirai’s attempts to smuggle Ncube into the principals’ forum.

Ncube has said he is no longer interested in becoming DPM and would rather concentrate on mobilising support ahead of next elections.

A group of officials, who were unhappy with the outcome of the MDC congress, challenged Ncube’s ascendancy despite the fact that Mutambara initially accepted defeat.