January 24, 2011

MDC demotes Mutambara, Ncube to be deputy PM

MDC has recommended that Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara be demoted to Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister with Professor Welshman Ncube taking over the deputy premiership. The decision was reached after an MDC national standing committee meeting in Harare. The meeting followed a party congress that saw Prof Ncube — who was the secretary-general — elevated to the MDC presidency.
New party secretary-general Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga will move from the Regional Integration Ministry to replace Prof Ncube as Industry and Commerce Minister. Ms Misahairabwi-Mushonga will also head the MDC’s negotiating team in the inter-party dialogue and in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee where she will be deputised by Qhubani Moyo.

The party has written to ZANU-PF leader and President Mr Mugabe asking him to effect their State executive recommendations. Addressing a Press conference after the decision was reached, Prof Ncube said: “We are re-deploying our team in Government and that is the decision of the party. The redeployment is the consequence of the desire of the congress.
Asked to comment on the significance of assuming the deputy premiership with elections expected in coming months, Prof Ncube said Zimbabwe did not need to go to polls right now. “The party has also resolved that we will not reinvent the 2008 scenario. We are now suffering from negotiation fatigue, so let’s wait for the right time,” he said.
Prof Ncube said he was not DPM until President Mugabe swore him into office, but the party’s decision was final. He said the changes in the party were procedural and people should not see them as a victimisation of Prof Mutambara, who himself had been put in that position by the party.

Prof Mutambara could not be reached for comment as he was said to be in Switzerland on private business. However, his ouster from the leadership has been met with resistance. One of the most outspoken critics, former deputy national organising secretary Mr Morgan Changamire, said Prof Mutambara was a victim of tribalism. “Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Prof Ncube are very vindictive and cruel. The way they demeaned Prof Mutambara and humiliated him reeks of a much larger conspiracy and we are not going to let them get away with it. We are going to fight them to the bitter end. They have just entered a lion’s den and they will not get out of it. This is the end of their political careers,” said Mr Changamire.

Mr Changamire alleged that the German government was funding Prof Ncube. He said Prof Ncube’s backers were not comfortable with Prof Mutambara’s Pan-African views. However, he did not say how they would oppose Prof Ncube’s elevation to the deputy premiership.
However, constitutional law expert Dr Lovemore Madhuku has pointed out that even then, at the end of the day the power to appoint any member of the executive vests in President Mugabe as the Head of State and Government. (The Zim Diaspora)

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