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22/08/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party – stung by the leaking of details of last week’s SADC summit proceedings where the 88-year-old leader took a hammering from regional colleagues – has furiously lashed out at MDC leader Welshman Ncube, accusing him of breaching his ministerial oath.

Ncube emerged from the summit on Saturday and told New Zimbabwe.com how Mugabe had been openly challenged by regional leaders over his insistence that the former MDC leader, Arthur Mutambara, was still a “principal” in Zimbabwe’s coalition government.

Mugabe lost the argument and the summit passed a resolution banning Mutambara – who remains Deputy Prime Minister – from its summits and endorsing Ncube as a principal for the purposes of South African President Jacob Zuma’s mediation effort.

But Zanu PF says by revealing details of summit proceedings, Ncube violated his cabinet oath on confidentiality.

Ncube, who is the Industry and Commerce Minister, Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Regional Integration Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi all accompanied Mugabe into the summit in their ministerial capacities.

Zanu PF contends that while proceedings of the SADC troika on politics, defence and security are political in nature and not confidential, the summit of Heads of State on the other hand is a secretive forum.

“It is a violation of Ncube’s cabinet oath to put under his name a purported verbatim record not corroborated by any other source, and attribute to certain Heads of State certain words. It is unprecedented,” Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo stormed on Wednesday.

“No cabinet minister has ever done that. Ncube was taken there as a cabinet minister for the purposes of his government role. This has nothing to do with the veracity of his narration; it is unprecedented and unbecoming of a cabinet minister. It is a violation of SADC protocol for anyone who is sitting in that meeting to come out and do that because deliberations of the summit are confidential.”

Last Saturday, Ncube told New Zimbabwe.com that during a discussion about Mutambara – which lasted an hour – Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba had asked the chairman, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, if the Zimbabwean parties had representatives in the room.


Zanu PF had Mugabe, Chinamasa and Mumbengegwi; the MDC-T Biti and the MDC Ncube and Misihairabwi.

Mugabe, Biti and Ncube were then given the floor, and the MDC officials both took the line that there were no practical political reasons for Mutambara to be considered a principal. Mugabe, on the other hand, insisted that Mutambara’s appeal at the Supreme Court against two High Court rulings that he had no legitimate claim to be MDC president meant he could not be sidelined.

Ncube and Biti succeeded in swaying the SADC leaders, with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Namibia’s Pohamba, Botswana’s Ian Khama, His Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland, Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane and the representative of the Prime Minister of Mauritius all supporting their stance while Mugabe found himself isolated with Zambia’s Michael Sata the only leader to argue that “Mutambara was an internal issue which should not concern SADC.”

Zanu PF is unhappy that its leader’s apparent humiliation was made public.

Moyo added: “For Ncube to come out and say his President, who took him there, has been humiliated is shocking. If this was the SADC troika, he would be free to come out and say the Zanu PF president was humiliated, that would be within his rights. But we take exception when a political leader who went in as a cabinet minister comes out in the way Ncube did.

“SADC communicates to the outside world through a communiqué, not individuals sitting there.”

Responding to Moyo on Wednesday, Ncube was reluctant to go into the legalistic issues about the confidentiality of SADC summits, but posed the question: “Did I address the SADC summit as a minister?”

He went on: “The most important thing is that people should not be allowed to divert from real issues. We should not aid and abet them in diversionary tactics, diversionary politics.

“There are real issues that confront our country – the constitution impasse, the economic crisis, and roadmap to elections. We are not tempted by diversionary politics, people trying to take our eyes off real issues.

“Everything we have said is true. We have always spoken about details of discussions at SADC on Zimbabwe, everyone put those discussions in the public domain including Zanu PF. We will continue to do so, we will not hide the truth and give some a chance to tell lies.”

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