WELSHMAN Ncube has announced that he will be taking over as Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government, replacing Arthur Mutambara who has been re-assigned.
Ncube, who replaced Mutambara as leader of the MDC party earlier this month, told journalists in Harare that he would be taking over as Deputy Premier in line with the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Ncube said the MDC’s Standing Committee – which is the party’s highest decision making body – had “seen it fit and decided” to reshuffle its team in government.
“I know there have been stories around and you are anxious to know, well the Standing Committee has resolved that I am re-deployed to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, a position hitherto held by DPM Prof Mutambara,” Ncube said.
“Honourable Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga will be re-deployed to the office of the Minister of Industry and Commerce whereas Deputy Prime Minister Professor Mutambara will now be re-deployed to the office of the Ministry of Regional Integration.”
The changes mark the second reshuffle of the coalition cabinet after the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also changed his team in June last year.
Ncube added that he would also relinquish his positions on the GPA Joint Monitoring Committee (JOMIC) and will no longer represent the MDC in negotiations with other parties in the coalition government.
Qhubani Moyo, who led the party’s restructuring and re-branding exercise, takes over the party’s seat on JOMIC while Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, who is also in the Organ for National Healing, will be the MDC’s lead negotiator in inter-party talks.
Ncube also vowed that the party would contest a legal challenge mounted party members seeking the nullification of the leadership changes made at the MDC’s recent congress.
The group – which is led by Joubert Mudzumwe, Morgan Changamire, former youth leader Costantine Chipadza and writer Tsitsi Dangarembgwa – has mounted a challenge in the High Court.
“I am a lawyer and we will deal with them accordingly, they have chosen the legal route and we are best in that,” he said.