MDC-N boycotts 2nd All Stakeholders' Conference opening ceremony

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Professor Welshman Ncube yesterday, 22 October boycotted the Second All Stakeholders Conference opening ceremony. The Conference which started its official business yesterday with an official opening by principals to the GPA will come to an end today, 23 October with a half day plenary session. The MDC -N stated that they had boycotted the official opening ceremony in protest against the inclusion of Professor Arthur Mutambara as a Principal and Speaker for the Constitutional Indaba.

MDC-N President, Professor Welshman Ncube alleges that President Robert Mugabe had insisted on the inclusion of Arthur Mutambara on the program in violation of the earlier agreement by the three parties that he won't be included. Professor Ncube argued that Arthur Mutambara was scheduled to deliver a vote of thanks to the delegates after three other political leaders had spoken, namely himself, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. However that arrangement was breached with Professor Authur Mutambara playing the role of a principal at the historic Indaba.

Earlier before staying away from the ceremony, MDC-N had indicated that the party will not partake in any activity that is against the Maputo SADC declaration that says that only President Welshman Ncube, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe are recognized as principals in the Inclusive Government as prescribed by the SADC Summit Communiqué of August 18, 2012.The Summit implored the Two Principals to always invite Professor Welshman Ncube to meetings focussing on the constitution making process.

President Ncube said that his party had taken a radical position because they had become tired of the deceit and dishonesty being propagated by the other principals in the GPA. He accused President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of refusing to implement the SADC Maputo Communiqué which is clear on who the principals are in constitution making process. Professor Ncube cited the recent incident where Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara met and agreed to set up a cabinet committee to oversee the implementation of the Maputo resolutions. He alleges that in that meeting the three agreed to have Professor Mutambara as Chair of that Committee with each political party in the inclusive government seconding a cabinet minister, a deal which the MDC vehemently rejected.

'We are extremely tired of deceit and dishonesty which is being instigated by Mugabe specifically and Tsvangirai in general in the implementation of the SADC Maputo resolution. It is clear to us that Mugabe's strategy is to paralyze the GNU. He is happy with the dual arrangement of his party and the MDC-T with a third person who is accountable to no party and no one. Mugabe still wants to foist the face on Mutambara on us because he imagines that he has the power to do that, we say no power on earth can push us to agree to that, not at all, said Professor Ncube angrily"

President Ncube however said that MDC was aware of the ZANU-PF's strategy to disband COPAC and they were not going to allow that to happen. He informed the Crisis report team that after extensive discussions with the facilitation team they had resolved to actively participate in the Thematic committees. He however said that they would a lodge formal complaint to the SADC Troika Chairman President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania after the Conference.

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