FORMER deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara is not throwing in the towel in politics and national leadership yet. His Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which is set to regroup, is seriously considering taking an olive branch to other MDC formations in order to strengthen the opposition in the country. The party will even consider alliances with ZAPU led by Dumiso Dabengwa and with Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn led by Simba Makoni.
“This is not the time to point fingers but to regroup and save the opposition of this country,” said secretary general of the Mutambara-led MDC, Maxwell Zimuto. “If we are serious about the people of Zimbabwe, as opposition parties we should consider coming together. We achieve more when we are together than when we are apart.”
Zimuto said his party was ready to align with any of the other parties as long as the others were agreeable to the idea.
“We don’t care who it is but we are ready to align with any of the others — Ncube, Makoni, Dabengwa even Morgan Tsvangirai. As it is, the face of the opposition which has been Tsvangirai is disintegrating and we cannot allow that. We have to come together. It’s not that we like Tsvangirai, but it is that if we let the face of opposition crumble, it is going to be very difficult to convince the people of Zimbabwe to come together again and fight for change,” Zimuto said.
The Mutambara-led MDC, which made a decision not to contest in the July elections said it was planning to hold its national council meeting “in a few days’ time” and this forum would, among other things, seek a consensus on whether or not to align with others.
The party last met mid 2012 and following its quietness and non-participation in the July elections, speculation had been rife that the faction, which splintered from the Ncube-led formation, which itself split from the MDC-T led by Tsvangirai, had reached the end of its road.
“We are still alive as a party. We did not participate in the elections because we had reached an agreement that the real contest in the elections was between ZANU-PF and the MDC-T and we wanted the people of Zimbabwe to choose freely from those two parties.
“Otherwise we are still here and we have been in communication regularly with our party president and other members of our party,” Zimuto said.
Mutambara, who could not be reached for comment, has kept the nation guessing as to what next after his five-year stint as deputy prime minister of the inclusive government. Given his apparent accommodation of ZANU-PF, even in instances where other MDC formations shunned the revolutionary party and its functions, many had speculated that he would perhaps be co-opted into the new government. When that did not happen, others thought the robotics professor, who has been accused of being an opportunist, had finally run out of options of making himself relevant.
“If you want to know Prof. Mutambara’s personal plans, he is the best person to tell you, but as far as the party is concerned, we are still together and we will be meeting in a few days’ time as a party,” Zimuto said.
Speculation is, however, rife that Mutambara will soon be surfacing in some national position, with some people saying he is tipped to head the Planning Commission, which is expected to be set up by government any time now as per the provisions of the new Constitution.