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20/08/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara remains a GPA principal despite SADC’s decision not to recognise him, Presidential spokesman, George Charamba has said.

Mutambara has been locked in a leadership battle with Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube who argues he should be named GPA principal having replaced the deputy premier as leader of the MDC party.

Mutambara, who has, to date, lost two court challenges over his ouster and is apealing in the Supreme Court, suffered a blow last week when SADC decided to recognise Ncube.

Still, Charamba, who is also the permanent secretary for the information Ministry said the SADC decision in Maputo, Mozambique did not Change Mutambara’s position in the government.

The regional body helped Zanu PF and the MDCs reach the GPA deal following violent elections in 2008 and is facilitating negotiations for implementation of reforms expected to culminate in new polls to replace the coalition government.

“The long and short of all this is that Prof Mutambara remains a Principal in the same way Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is and the same way President Mugabe is,” Charamba told state-run Herald newspaper.

“He remains so in spite of the SADC decision, which relates to political parties anyway.”

In its communiqué after the Maputo meeting SADC said: “The facilitator (South African leader Jacob Zuma) 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).”

Ncube welcomed the resolution, noting: “The (SADC) 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.”

But Charamba said the resolution simply meant that, for the purposes of its mediation assignments in Zimbabwe, SADC would now be dealing with leaders of political parties.


He further claimed that there was a distinction between structures that mattered to SADC for its mediation effort and “legally-constituted structures and designations that mattered to the Government of Zimbabwe for the purposes of operationalisation of the Global Political Agreement.”

“This is to say that whereas SADC concerns itself with political parties, the Government of Zimbabwe concerns itself with Principals,” Charamba said.

“The notion of Principal is legally sticky in the governmental sense and addresses those persons whose hands (signatures) appear on the GPA and because of that, they become principals in Government.”

“The issue is our sub-regional organisation has a position in respect of political parties that have a bearing in the Global Political Agreement.

“It (SADC) is saying it shall be Robert Gabriel Mugabe representing Zanu-PF, Morgan Tsvangirai representing MDC-T and Professor Welshman Ncube representing the other MDC. That is for the purposes of SADC consultations.”

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