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Mutambara, Mugabe suffer SADC humiliation
18/08/2012 00:00:00
by Prof Welshman Ncube
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South African President Jacob Zuma snubbed Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on a visit to Zimbabwe last Wednesday, insisting that the deposed MDC leader was not a "principal" for the purposes of his engagement with Zimbabwean leaders as SADC's point man.

Mutambara, who has lost two court cases seeking the nullification of Welshman Ncube's leadership of the MDC, accused Zuma of "violating Zimbabwe’s laws and constitution", citing his appeal currently pending in the Supreme Court.

Mutambara, along with Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Ncube travelled to the SADC summit in Maputo from August 17-18, where Mutambara used the platform to attack Zuma, accusing him of meddling in internal party politics.

Ncube, who is also Zimbabwe's Industry and Commerce Minister, explains what went down:

TALK of the laws of unintended consequences! Deputy Prime Minister Prof Arthur Mutambara came to the SADC Troika meeting and when given the floor, chose to speak not about the pressing national issues but rather about his own personal case demanding full recognition by SADC as the legitimate leader of the MDC and it's political Principal in the inclusive government.

This strategic error gave the Troika the opportunity to be seized of the issue which it would otherwise not have had the opportunity to discuss. By the end of the discussion, the Troika had decided that as guarantors of the GPA, SADC could not be dealing with Mutambara since he was not the leader of any of the parties to the GPA.

Consequently, the Troika recommended to the full Summit that from now on, the facilitator and the Troika should no longer have any dealings with Mutambara and that consequently he should not be invited to any Troika or Summit meetings since SADC should only deal with the three political parties to the GPA.

When President Mugabe sought to draw a distinction between party leaders and GPA Principals, the Summit firmly rejected that distinction insisting that Mutambara did not sign the GPA in his personal capacity but in his representative capacity as then leader of the MDC.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the new Troika chair, was firm and unyielding in maintaining that President Robert Mugabe was wrong in his argument that Mutambara was still a GPA principal when he is no longer the leader of the MDC.


Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba was equally insistent that not only was Mutambara not a GPA Principal, but that the MDC had an unqualified right to recall him from the position of DPM if it so wished and that President Mugabe had no right to foist him on the MDC as its representative in the position of DPM.

President Ian Khama equally maintained that it was self evident that Mutambara had no right to continue participating in SADC processes, and that he also was no longer a Principal.

His Majesty King Mswati III, the Prime Minister of Lesotho Tom Thabane and the representative of the Prime Minister of Mauritius were equally of the same views.

Only president Michael Sata of Zambia argued that the issue of Mutambara was an internal issue which should not concern SADC. By the end of the day, even President Mugabe was forced to concede that on political matters, such as that of the negotiations for a new constitution, he was duty-bound to deal with the MDC leadership as elected at the party congress.

This whole debate would not have taken place had Mutambara not arrogantly raised the issue before the Troika, and SADC would not have de-recognised him had he not put the matter up for decision. The laws of unintended consequences can be very, very harsh!

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