A SENIOR Zanu PF official has accused South Africa President, Jacob Zuma, of abusing his role as SADC facilitator to interfere in Zimbabwean politics and help boost the political fortunes of his relative Welshman Ncube.
Ncube – whose son is married to one of Zuma’s daughters – has been battling to replace Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as a GPA principal, having deposed him as leader of the MDC.
And the Industry and Commerce Minister appeared to receive a boost last week when Zuma refused to meet Mutambara during a visit to Harare ahead of the SADC summit in Maputo, Mozambique.
But the snub drew fire from Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo who accused Zuma of a nepotistic scheme to install Ncube as a GPA principal and described the move as “illegal, unconstitutional, intrusive and impolitic”.
Writing in the Sunday Mail, Moyo charged: “In a dramatic public display of intolerable inconsistency apparently driven by an equally intolerable big brother ‘knows it and does it all’ mentality, upon arrival in Harare President Zuma … decided to unilaterally recompose the forum of GPA principals by removing Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara and replacing him with Welshman Ncube, who is his relative through the marriage of their children, thereby opening himself to growing allegations of nepotism that are now beginning to stick given the unsatisfactory manner in which President Zuma has used his dual role as facilitator and outgoing chairman of the Organ Troika to mislead the Sadc summit into imposing Welshman Ncube as a GPA principal.”
Mutambara, still smarting from the snub, also angrily rebuked the South African leader in Maputo and acussed him of undermining Zimbabwe’s constitution.
“He (Zuma) came to Harare and unilaterally decided that Ncube is the MDC principal and that the MDC congress was valid and yet the matter is still pending before the Supreme Court which is the final legal authority,” Mutambara said.
“Anyone who undermines the Supreme Court by making a determination on a pending issue is violating Zimbabwe’s laws and Constitution.”
Moyo added: “The whole effort is informed by a plot to influence the conclusion of the draft constitution through Welshman Ncube being used as a GPA principal when he has already played his part as a member of the Copac management committee.
“It is now common cause that Ncube is one of the authors of Copac’s final draft produced on July 18 2012 and he did that not as a GPA principal but as a GPA negotiator because he clearly knew and understood that he is not a principal otherwise he would not have stooped that low.
“Why then does Zuma’s facilitation team think it is right or legal under the false cover of Sadc to enable Ncube to now double-dip by posing as a GPA principal?
“Ncube has had his say on the Copac draft constitution as one of its drafters. He must now let the GPA principals do their work unhindered and he certainly must refrain from pushing his in-laws in South Africa to bid for his politically hopeless and illegal cause.”
Still, the SADC meeting in Maputo appeared to back Zuma with part of the resolutions relating to Zimbabwe stating: “The facilitator and the chair of the Troika must engage on the Zimbabwe issues with the three political parties to the GPA through their Presidents and Principals, namely President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC).”
Commenting on the resolution a triumphant Ncube said: “Talk of the laws of unintended consequences! 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 Robert 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.”
Moyo however, said the SADC communiqué did not make any difference and insisted that Mutambara would remain a GPA principal.
He said: “GPA creatures should put this reality in their thick and empty heads and they must understand that nobody is going to become a GPA principal or political leader in Zimbabwe on account of a Sadc communique made and facilitated by an important in-law.
“That cannot be right no matter how many times it is written in as many SADC communiqués.”