Mutambara set to cut deal with ZANU PF & cut ties with Tsvangirai

Mutambara set to cut deal with ZANU PF & cut ties with Tsvangirai

22 August 2008
Leader of the breakaway MDC faction, Arthur Mutambara, looks set to benefit from striking a deal with Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF, which could see a member of his faction elected speaker of parliament - the biggest post in the House of Assembly.


Mugabe’s ZANU PF has reportedly backed the move, which will effectively side line the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. The speaker assumes power temporarily if the incumbent president is unable to perform the duties of office through illness or death.


Tsvangirai has said a mediator will need to intervene if Zimbabwe’s parliament convenes next week, because the move violates the Memorandum of Understanding. He was addressing the media in Kenya on Thursday after comparing notes on the experience of power sharing with Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Tsvangirai stated that by convening parliament Mugabe may have decided to abandon the power-sharing talks.


At the same time, Mutambara’s party appears to be distancing itself further away from Tsvangirai after the party’s Secretary General Welshman Ncube told South African media the coalition agreement signed with the Tsvangirai MDC is no longer valid. He said: The discussions which took place between the two elections were founded on the fact that Morgan (Tsvangirai) had won the 29 March election and would win the 27 June elections. That did not happen and therefore what was agreed then does not constitute a coalition.


Dr John Makumbe, a political analyst from the University of Zimbabwe, told Newsreel on Friday the political situation shows there are no permanent friends and no permanent foes in Zimbabwe’s politics. He said Mutambara’s party will be completely swallowed up by ZANU PF if any deal is signed with Mugabe. But he added that both Mutambara and Mugabe should be aware that such an arrangement will not result in Zimbabwe being recognised as a democratic country. He called the two party leaders efforts at sidelining Tsvangirai a futile exercise and said they are risking valuable foreign investment by cutting Tsvangirai out of the picture.


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