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Ncube speaks on Zuma ties

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21/08/2012 00:00:00
by Nqobile Bhebhe I NewsDay
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MDC leader Welshman Ncube insists his relationship with South African President Jacob Zuma does not compromise the SADC mediator in the Zimbabwe political talks as claimed by Zanu PF.

Ncube’s son, Wesley, is married to Zuma’s daughter, Gugu.

Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo at the weekend claimed this had influenced SADC’s decision to stop recognising Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as a principal in terms of the Global Political Agreement.

Mutambara also attacked Zuma, saying he was using the family ties to assist his rival in their fight for the control of the MDC.

But Ncube says his relationship with both Zuma and his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is now the African Union (AU) chairperson, is “irrelevant on the Zimbabwe issue”.

“They are both seasoned politicians and not two-year-old kids who would be influenced by the exigencies of the moment,” Ncube said.

“They have an understanding of how international issues are handled.”

Ncube said Zuma could not dictate to his political rivals, adding: “So it’s totally irrelevant that Jacob Zuma is related to myself... which is why there has never been a single complaint at any of the SADC summits by any of the parties that the facilitator has been biased.

“The Commission chair implements the resolutions of the AU summits and there is very little influence that a chair has. The AU position on Zimbabwe is a position that can only be determined by the AU summit and not by the commission chair herself.”

Moyo said Ncube “must refrain from pushing his in-laws in South Africa to bid for his politically-hopeless and illegal cause”.

Mutambara made way for Ncube at the MDC congress last year as party leader, but refused to be recalled from the DPM’s post and challenged the outcome of the congress at the High Court and lost the case.

The High Court also ordered him, in a second ruling, to stop “masquerading as a principal”.

Mutambara has appealed to the Supreme Court. Supported by Zanu PF, he insists that the SADC decision to ban him from its summits and stop consulting him while the appeal is pending is an undue interference with Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.

Mugabe met MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday to decide what to do with Mutambara. In the end, they resolved to continue treating him as a “principal” until the Supreme Court delivers its verdict, but to also consult Ncube on key national issues including the new constitution.


Tsvanfirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said: “President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai met briefly to discuss the issue in the absence of Mutambara and resolved that the problem was two-faceted: the legal route and political route.

“The leaders decided that Ncube should be involved in the constitution-making process as a principal because he is the leader of the MDC.

“They resolved it could be solved legally whilst Ncube is engaged as a principal in the constitution-making process."

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