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17/08/2012 00:00:00
by Wonai Masvingise I NewsDay
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DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara cut a lonely figure on Wednesday after he was barred from meeting South African President Jacob Zuma, who was in Harare for an update on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.
Zuma met separately with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry and Trade minister Welshman Ncube.
Mutambara, who enjoys support from Mugabe and Tsvangirai, has refused to make way for Ncube to take over the DPM’s post after he lost the leadership of the MDC last year.

Two High Court judges ruled that the robotics professor had no right to lay claim to the post. Mutambara has appealed to the Supreme Court against both judgments.

On Wednesday, he went to meet Zuma at the Rainbow Towers, but was prevented from seeing the Sadc-appointed mediator on the Zimbabwe crisis.

Sources in Zanu PF and the MDC-T said Mutambara went ballistic after he was shut out of the closed-door meetings after Zuma insisted on meeting leaders of political parties and their negotiators.

“Parties were negotiating and I think he wasn’t allowed because he has no party, but I am told he has been invited to the (Sadc) summit,” one of the sources said.

“Mutambara has been trying to be put on the programme since Monday. He was engaging the (South African) ambassador (Vusi Mavimbela) so that he could meet with Zuma as a principal, but this has failed.”

The former University of Zimbabwe student leader waited for five hours before giving up.As he left the venue of the meeting, he shouted: “Maputo, Maputo!”

Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu said Mutambara had not been invited to the meeting in Harare because he was not a leader of any party.

“He never met with the President (Zuma),” she said.

“He wasn’t invited to the meeting because the President was meeting with leaders of political parties as in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe and Welshman Ncube.”

Mugabe has stuck with Mutambara, saying he cannot drop him until his case is disposed of by the courts.


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