Zimbabwe’s political crisis has dragged on for years now and mediation efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have proven frustrating as the country’s coalition partners continue bickering.
The SADC-appointed mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma, was in the country last week to meet the leaders of the three political parties forming the Inclusive Government (IG) to find out what progress was being made toward holding of elections scheduled for next year.
He met three leaders of the three main political parties, namely Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Welshman Ncube and President Robert Mugabe.
But he did not meet the Deputy Prime Minister Authur Mutambara, which upset the politician. Mutambara lost the post of his party's president to former associate Welshman Ncube, after the High Court ruled against Mutambara's claim to Movement for Democratic Change leadership.
He accused Zuma of violating Zimbabwe's constitution for meeting Ncube as the leader of MDC while the matter of who is the leader of the party is still pending before the Supreme Court. He said, “Anyone who undermines the Supreme Court by making a determination on a pending issue is violating Zimbabwe’s laws and Constitution.”
Immediately after Zuma's refusal to meet Mutambara and his public statements about the snub, Zimbabweans took to social media platforms to express their feelings about the issue.
Ntungamili Nkomo posted the following on Facebook:
Adios A.G.O Mutambara. Clearly the honeymoon is beginning to unravel.
This drew responses from other Facebook users. Mzala Tom commented wrote:
He has lost all court cases ! He handed over power to Ncube and even gave a farewell speech ! Why are we even talking about this ???!!! Just crazzzzy gukurahundists (perpetrators of Gukurahundi) hating on Ncube!
Munei Chiganangana added her voice to the debate that seems to have divided the nation along tribal and ethnic lines:
To say Mtambara is a Dog is more of hate than reality.Mtambara is as good a politician as any in the field if not better.What is wrong is how he entered the political field.You can't expect to perform wonders when you join a small run away group whose solely objective is Government position rather than the people they purport to lead.History will tell you that the Ncube faction broke away from MDC because it was up to Gvt positions as opposed to fight to unsettle the Mugabe regime. Still again up to now, Ncube continues to fight for gvt position as he wants to be part to GNU. My thinking was that Ncube could have left this GNU animal alone and do the ground work, mobilising and building up his small disintegrating part to something more than the main MDC. We desperately needs a part outside GNU at the moment.If academic and professional excellence equals political excellence, Simba Makoni could be our president right now. But its always not the case.
Marko Phiri at Kubatanablogs wondered whose constituency Mutambara was representing:
It’s not always that one gets to enjoy news details from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). Well, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing this on radio last night: “Professor Authur Mutambara was denied audience with President Zuma…” When will Mutambara learn to get off? In his crazy bald head he firmly sees himself as Zimbabwe’s future president and those who saw him “awaiting his turn” to meet President Zuma must have wondered whose constituency he was representing. I can imagine that, because President Mugabe has “allowed” him to bumrush the GPA, the garrulous fop must have pleaded with President Mugabe to let him meet Zuma! The ambitious fool forgot that Zuma would, as the courts decided already, meet his in-law, Welshman Ncube, the same man Mutambara would have liked President Zuma not to talk to! Talk about a useless bald head. Just for kicks, I leave it to ZBC: “Professor Authur Mutambara was denied audince with President Zuma…” Dimwit”.
On Twitter, some commented as follows:
@jessiedendere: Throwing tantrums is how Mutambara will end his political career.
@SavileImage: Surprisingly [#Mutambara] was pushing President #Zuma to address #ZanuPF concerns.
@SavileImage: Well and good for #mawere to join the #Zimbabwe presidential race but he needs to be wary of being the next Mutambara.” This was in response to reports that a wealthy businessman and former Mugabe sympathiser Mutumwa Mawere had announced his interest in contesting next year’s presidential elections.