MDC wrangle goes to High Court

mutambara_aHARARE - The former President of the small, breakaway faction of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara (Pictured), has said he will not recognise the new President of the party, Welshman Ncube, nor abdicate from his position as the countrys Deputy Prime Minister.

Ncube says the party will meet today (Thursday) to take a decisive stand in light of Mutambaras defiance. “The National Council will speak, that is the supreme decision-making organ of the party,” Ncube said. In a dramatic volte face Mutambara, who at the January 8 MDC congress said he was demonstrating to Zimbabweans that it was possible to hand over the baton of power, told a news conference on Monday that he had not ceded his power to Ncube.

I have no intention whatsoever of leaving the position of Deputy Prime Minister. I will not abdicate my national responsibilities in order to satisfy narrow party political aspirations. In our constitution there is no facility for a political party to recall a sitting DPM. I am not a constituency-based MP elected on a party ticket, he said. Ncube said the issue would be resolved by the partys National Council. “All those things will be determined on Thursday. I dont own the party. We are elected by congress, he said.

Asked if the party would consider disciplinary measures against Mutambara, he said: “The National Council has all the powers in every aspect. Party sources say Mutambara faces expulsion. University of Zimbabwe law professor, Lovemore Madhuku, said: “It is only Mugabe who can either force him to resign or dismiss him, if he is not happy with his performance.

The GPA is not the Constitution – it is a separate arrangement. So Mutambara is likely to complete his term in the inclusive government.” The party is riddled with confusion after the party chairman and a group of other disgruntled members challenged the legality of the congress. Ncube says he will wait for the courts to decide whether or not the congress was legal.

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