Mutambara Refuses To Join MDC-T "Disengagement"

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, seen here two months ago in Uganda with Deputy Prime Minister Khupe from MDC - Tsvangirai and President Museveni of Uganda, has said he will remain in government and try to reconcile the two warring parties that have now "disengaged"

Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 October 2009

Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has said before that if Morgan Tsvangirai left the Inclusive Government, then the MDC, which Mutambara leads, would also walk out of the government.

However, the DPM seems to be having second thought. Yesterday, he held a press conference where he announced that he will not be walking out of the GNU with Mugabe. Instead, he appears to be positioning himself as a mediator in the dispute between the two, since he can speak to both of them.

"We are in the middle to promote dialogue, to push the national agenda", said Mutambara, adding that he and his ministers will continue to attend Cabinet meetings.

Mutambara revealed that he had met with Morgan Tsvangirai three times over his decision to pull out, but that the MDC leader remains adamant that this is the best way to go for his party.

"This country demands that we work together. There are time to think of what is good for Zimbabwe and not our parties."

Mutambara remains on speaking terms with Mugabe, which complicates Morgan Tsvangirai's agenda of trying to rope in the Southern African Development Community, which has always taken the position that all three Principals in the Coalition need to agree that there is an impasse before the regional body can step in. 

As things stand right now, both Mugabe and Mutambara say that there really is no impasse and that the issues that remain are ones that are within the grasp of the Inclusive Government through discussions.

There is also the issue that the MDC headed by Mutambara does not have as big a constituency as Tsvangirai, who feels that Mugabe should really treat him as an equal in government. His pull-out, as I have said before, seems to have been motivated more by Mugabe's refusal to meet him last week, and he said at his press conference that there can be no government "when the president won't see the prime minister."

I was also just thinking:

The Prime Minister blasted SADC during his press conference for failing to convene a Summit to deal with his outstanding issues. He is repeating the same mistake as before, alienating the very same people that he expects to help him now as he goes on his regional tour.

He seems not to understand still that as "mediators", the SADC leaders should not be seen to ba taking sides. Mugabe insists that he has his own issue - sanctions and when the MDC brings its grievances to the table, so will Mugabe. 

It is an impossible situation for any foreign mediator, trying to reconcile these two positions. 


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