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Mutambara launches verbal grenades at Ncube

Press Release

During the past two weeks, there has been a plethora of articles, comments and statements which appeared in the national newspapers, emanating from the Welshman Ncube led MDC group.

Arthur Mutambara & Welshman Ncube
Tense looking Arthur Mutambara standing next to Welshman Ncube at the later disputed congress

In an effort to cover up the imminent collapse of their group, as is increasingly becoming evident, they have become so desperate that they are now engaging in fictional politics with a view to misleading the public and hope that they will win their sympathy.

So desperate is the group that they have even tried to distort the significance and implication of the recent Bulawayo High Court ruling and the subsequent appeal lodged against it with the Supreme Court by Professor Arthur Mutambara, the MDC-M president.

In the interest of time and space, I have dedicated this article to responding to and setting the record straight over the distortions, misinformation and deliberate lies, peddled by Ncube and his associates. An article with headlines “DPM Mutambara nears expiry date” appeared in the Financial Gazette paper of December 22, 2011.

Apart from its lack of objectivity and deliberate effort, intended to prop up Professor Welshman Ncube whose political fortunes are nose-diving, the article remains empty and shallow.

The Bulawayo High Court judgment referred to in the article, sought to lengthen the restriction on the MDC-M president, Professor Arthur Mutambara’s political activity. As it turned out to be, the ruling has since been overtaken by new developments. Professor Mutambara successfully appealed against the ruling with the Supreme Court, the highest Court in the land.

This is not a new phenomenon in the justice delivery system. Anybody who is not satisfied with the judgement given by the lower court has a right of appeal to a higher court for redress. Mutambara should not be blamed for effectively using the right of appeal entitled to him. For Ncube and his sidekicks to cry foul over the appeal, is absolute nonsense.

Instead, they should take responsibility for a botched up strategy which has backfired. It is them who in the first place, sought to have the dispute settled through the court when they applied for restrictive measures to be imposed on Mutambara.

Indeed, they got the relief and Mutambara was quarantined for more than 10 months. Now that he has tenaciously fought for his freedom, they are running scared.

The significance of the appeal is clear, it renders the Bulawayo High Court judgment invalid or suspended until the Supreme Court makes its ruling on the matter.

Put simply, Mutambara is now a free man and reverts to being president of MDC-M, its principal to the GPA and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe until the Supreme Court states otherwise. Yes, that is how the law operates.

Further comment made by Ncube, gleaned from the internet in which he claimed that the Bulawayo High Court ruling is not appealable is shameless, hollow and laughable. It should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

Ncube should state which section of the law prohibits Mutambara from appealing to a higher court? If he is certain that the appeal is irregular, why does he not contest it in the courts?

It is interesting to note that for the first time since the disagreement started, Ncube concedes that this is a political dispute which should be settled within the confines of politics. He should have known this long back and he could have saved time and resources by not engaging in futile and unwinnable interdicts.

In the Independent of December 23, 2011, Qubani Moyo waffles something to the effect that legislators who have openly expressed their allegiance to the MDC-M party, will be brought before the Ncube group’s so-called disciplinary committee. He further claims that the legislators were elected under the MDC-N ticket.

This is brazen foolishness. First and foremost, the legislators have had nothing to do with the Ncube group since its so-called congress in January 2011.

Like all loyal cadres of the MDC-M, they have remained with the party and have refused to be associated with Ncube’s regional administration. But of course it should be understood that Ncube is so desperate a man, that he will do anything including claiming to have the power and capacity to recall legislators who do not belong to his group.

The Standard of December 25, 2011 carried a story with headlines “Mugabe, Tsvangirai plot against Ncube.” In the story Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga accuse both President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai of supporting and protecting Mutambara against the High Court ruling. This is a total misrepresentation of facts.

It is not Mugabe and Tsvangirai who are protecting Mutambara, it is the law. The clear position is that the dispute has nothing to do with the President or the Prime Minister; it is about the courts and the laws of Zimbabwe. Let Ncube fully and honestly, explain the implication of the appeal to his colleagues. This is a straight forward matter which I have no time and space for.

In the same article and in a desperate effort to cover up for the Ncubes, Misihairabwi-Mushonga, misdirects herself by responding to a letter of complaint which MDC-M wrote to the Judge President, protesting against the role played by Nicholas Mathonsi Ncube, blood brother to Welshman who delivered the judgement at the Bulawayo High Court. That the matter was heard under Justice Kamocha was never our bone of contention.

Our protest is with Mathonsi Ncube’s failure to recuse himself in such a high profile matter in which he is an interested party. What was expected of Misihairabwi-Mushonga which she did not do because it exposes their evil machinations against Mutambara is simply to tell the readers the relationship between Welshman and Nicholas, period!

I will not waste my time and energy over Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s mythical CIO plot, regarding the interparty meeting held at the Rainbow Towers on November 11, 2011. The true position is that we as MDC-M had submitted our list of delegates to the interparty meeting of November 11, 2011 in advance. I personally submitted our list of delegates to both Hon. Tendai Biti of the MDC-T and Hon Didymus Mutasa of Zanu-PF at least three days before the date of the meeting.

In fact the Ncube group got a copy of our list of delegates beforehand. On the day in question we were initially denied entry but we protested and produced our list which the officers manning the entrance had and after some arguments we were allowed in.

Immediately after we had been allowed in, Misihairabwi descended on Mutasa, Biti and the officers manning the gates screaming and yelling as if she was possessed by the demon of Jezebel, demanding that MDC-M delegates be evicted or else her group would boycott the proceedings.

We were indeed evicted. But the most rational thing should have been to inform us beforehand, that we were not welcome at the meeting particularly in view of the fact that we had handed our list in advance. As regards her claims that the misunderstanding had the involvement of CIO operatives, only Misihairabwi-Mushonga can answer. She appears to know them, we don’t.

In the Newsday of December 21, 2011, Priscilla Misihairabwi- Mushonga wrote an opinion piece with the headline, “The method in the madness.” I will not dwell on the CIO myth; it has been adequately covered in the preceding paragraphs. What I would want to deal with is the false assertion, repeatedly stated as fact by the Ncube group and has also found its way in Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s argument in the article.

That by attending the so-called congress, Mutambara willingly handed over power to Ncube. This is fatally incorrect. It is not the presence of Mutambara at the so-called congress that gives legitimacy and the transfer of power from one officer to the other. It is the adherence to the provisions of the Party Constitution, particularly those aspects that govern the road towards holding the Party Congress.

If the presence of Mutambara whose role in the Congress proceedings is not stated in the MDC Party Constitution, where does the absence of a National Chairperson whose role is spelt out in the same as the returning officer, responsible for conducting elections at the congress, leave the argument about the legitimacy of the so-called congress, held by the Ncube group and was boycotted by the National Chairperson of the main wing, the National Chairperson of the Women’s Assembly and the National Chairperson of the Youth Assembly?

The clear position is that the congress should have been held in terms of the Party Constitution but it was not hence our application to the court to have it nullified.

The second fallacy that has been created by the Ncube group is that if Mutambara loses the interdict, then the Party belongs to Ncube and he also becomes its President. This is totally false. The dispute over the ownership of the Party lies with the court application HC 612/11 made by Mudzumwe and 13 others in Harare.

This is the matter that challenges the legitimacy of the Ncube congress of January 8 and 9 2011 and its finalisation will ultimately unlock the dispute and put the matter of the ownership of the Party to rest not the interdict. This is why the interdict makes reference to case HC 612/11 and its lifespan is dependent on the finalisation of case HC 612/11 and not the reverse.

Finally, Ncube and colleagues may wish to be reminded that MDC-M is a reality, it cannot be wished away. No amount of political chicanery will weaken our resolve to be part of a political arrangement in which everyone is free to hold and express divergent views.

Maxwell Zimuto is the MDC-M, secretary general.