Mutambara’s decision comes in the wake of a decision by the party,s Bulawayo province which chose to field Ncube for the post of president at the congress.
“I am not running for re-election at the next congress. I have done my part and I would like to give an opportunity to others to assume leadership positions. My time was productive and it’s time for another leader,” Mutambara told a local, privately-owned daily newspaper.
Mutambara admitted that the congress had caused divisions in his party but hoped his withdrawal from the race would unite the party.Ncube is believed to have masterminded the split of the MDC in 2005 following bitter behind the scenes war with Morgan Tsvangirai.
“By not participating, I hope there will be unity in the party. I’m not standing for any nomination in the provincial councils or leadership positions but I will remain a member of the party. I don’t have to be a leader to be politically involved,” Mutambara said.
MDC-M Harare province has joined others which have openly decided to back Ncube for the leadership of the party which only enjoys popular support in Matabeleland South province..Ncube angered his supporters in Matabeleland when he invited Mutambara to lead the party soon after the split.
He however, did not contest the 2008 presidential elections after the party decided to back Mavambo Kusile leader, Simba Makoni who came third behind MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe.
After the formation of the coalition government in 2008, Mutambara was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.