Ncube is not a principal, says Tsvangirai

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says his nemesis Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC by legislative representation, is not entitled to attend the Monday Principals’ meeting as it is exclusive to government leaders.

In response, Ncube’s camp says Tsvangirai has “graduated” into “Zimbabwe’s enemy number two” after Mugabe.

On Tuesday Ncube attacked Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe for locking him out of the Monday meeting as preparations for the constitution-making process gather momentum.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai recognise Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as a fellow Principal.

But Sadc the guarantors of the tenuous inclusive government recognise Ncube, who took over as the leader of the MDC formation in 2011 before Mutambara contested his ouster.

The latest Principals’ standoff is now threatening to suck in Sadc as Ncube mulls taking the issue to the regional body for arbitration.

 “The snub shows lack of sincerity especially on the part of Tsvangirai and he has become Zimbabwe’s enemy number two after Mugabe,” said Qhubani Moyo, the party’s policy director.

“He has become too relaxed under Mugabe’s armpit and if this trend continues, we will approach Sadc.”

William Bango, Tsvangirai’s acting spokesperson, yesterday told the Daily News that Ncube could not attend the Principals’ meetings on Mondays because they were exclusive to leaders of government not political party leaders.

“The Prime Minister does not wish to comment on the obvious,” Bango said. “It should be known that Monday meetings are for government leaders , that is the President, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and not leaders of political parties.

“Ncube attends political party leaders’ meetings on Tuesdays after Cabinet but because Cabinet has not yet resumed, the meeting will be on Thursday (today).”

 The latest standoff between Tsvangirai and Ncube shows escalating tension between the former allies.

Ncube accuses Tsvangirai of being out of touch with the reality, labelling the former trade unionist a privileged elite who now lives in $2 million mansion while the populace wallow in poverty.

In retaliation, Tsvangirai has described Ncube as a “village politician” who cannot win national elections. - Staff Writer

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