The new party leader, announced on Sunday that Mutambara would be re-deployed to the Regional Integration and International Co-operation portfolio.However, indications are the robotics and mechatronics professor will not accept the position and would choose to quit government.
He has kept his cards close to his chest since the acrimonious congress deposed him early this month.Senior politicians and Government officials yesterday said the suddenly reclusive Mutambara had told his confidantes that he was assessing the situation and would soon make a public statement on his intentions.
Last night, a senior government official said Mutambara flew out of Harare on Sunday evening and was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.The official met Mutambara on Sunday, but would not be drawn into saying what they discussed.
“He will comment when he comes back. It’s better to hear it from the horse’s mouth,” he said.Another source disclosed that Mutambara met several senior government officials, oddly none of them from MDC-N, on Sunday.
“What they discussed is up to them to divulge but it appears Mutambara is taking things in stride and is more disappointed than he is angry with what is going on,” said the source. But David Coltart, one of the three MDC-N leaders who sit in the cabinet said he did not know what Prof Mutambara was planning.
“I was not there at the meeting (on Sunday) when the decision was made and I don’t know if he has been formally informed of the reassignment.
“I don’t think he will reject the reassignment because he is someone who can do well in that portfolio as he is respected in the region.”
An official who has worked with Prof Mutambara since he was appointed DPM in 2009, told The Herald that the former MDC leader was not “worried about the future”.
“He has other options outside of government and MDC-N and is not bothered by what the new leader is doing.”
It is not clear what these options are but there is speculation that he might go back full time into private consultancy, or join another party or form one of his own.Mutambara’s silence has led to a lot of conjecture as to what he is thinking and plotting, after having entered national politics in 2006 when he was invited to lead the MDC formation that had the previous year broken away from the one led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
While Prof Ncube has said his party wants him to take over the deputy premiership, it is not a simple matter of reassigning Mutambara.
The constitution and the Global Political Agreement, which gave rise to the inclusive Government, make it clear that President Mugabe as the head of state and government – has the sole prerogative of hiring, reassigning or firing members of Cabinet.
All Prof Ncube can do is make a recommendation but the final decision lies with President Mugabe.Technically this means Mutambara could remain DPM at President Mugabe’s pleasure, or he could accept a reassignment that is effectively a demotion, or in the final extreme simply quit government.
Should he quit Government, he can put back on the robes of a private citizen or pursue other options as an active politician.Last year President Mugabe accepted a request from Prime Minister Tsvangirai for changes to the MDC-T line in government, a reshuffle apparently instigated by internal party strife.
Constitutional law expert Dr Lovemore Maduku yesterday said it was up to President Mugabe to oblige Ncube or dismiss his recommendations.
“There is no such thing as recalling, redeployment or reassigning in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“There are only two options available; in this case that Mutambara has to resign or else President Mugabe has to dismiss him.
“If Mutambara refuses to go and President Mugabe does not dismiss him, there is nothing Ncube can do.
“What if President Mugabe says I cannot dismiss Mutambara because he is competent in government and has only lost a mere party election?
“It’s his (President Mugabe’s) constitutional right and there is nothing Ncube can do about that,” he said.Speculation is that Ncube is banking on Mutambara rejecting the demotion and quitting government so that he can then appoint MDC-N vice president, Mr Edwin Mushoriwa, as the Regional Integration Minister.