Mutambara drops bid to challenge MDC leadership post

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Former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara

By Alex Bell SW Radio Africa 28 August 2013

The former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has withdrawn his bid to challenge the leadership of his old party, now led by Welshman Ncube, in the wake of the disputed elections.

In 2011, Mutambara launched a legal battle vying to have Ncube’s ascent to the Presidency of the MDC nullified. This was after a national congress voted Mutambara out of power in the breakaway MDC faction.

The party then tried to have Mutambara booted out of his Deputy Prime Minister position, which he was granted as part of the unity deal with the MDC-T and ZANU PF in 2009. The MDC led by Ncube argued that Mutambara, who at that point represented no one, should make way for the legitimate MDC leader.

Two years ago, Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha declared that Mutambara was not the party leader. Mutambara went on to appeal this at the Supreme Court, and, until this week, a ruling on the matter was ‘indefinitely reserved’.

The appeal, which was withdrawn this week, meant Ncube was prevented from taking part in the now defunct unity government after Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai both said they would wait for the final court determination before replacing Mutambara.

Ncube’s spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said this was a deliberate ploy, accusing Mutambara of being a ZANU PF functionary.

“The reality is that Arthur Mutambara was a hand held political baby of ZANU PF and when they had used and abused him enough, in keeping Ncube away from table of (unity government) principals, his use had come and gone,” Dube told SW Radio Africa.

He continued: “Mutambara needed to rejuvenate his usefulness to ZANU PF and part of that means he is washing off his claim of the MDC party leadership.”

“He can now continue and wave his ZANU PF card in public and we are absolutely certain that if he doesn’t already have one, he will soon have one. His political survival depends on him publically declaring himself ZANU PF,” Dube added.

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