The eighth of January 2011, at the MDC national congress;
In his address to over 1000 delegates at the opening of the congress, Mutambara bemoaned problems in the party which resulted in Mudzumwe and other senior members snubbing the conference.
Mutambara said he volunteered not to contest for a second term saying he felt it was time to leave the presidency of the party, but said they were problems in the party which required attention.
“I made a personal decision as a leader, so that people move forward and so that others can lead. We want the baton to move from one leader to another, we are building a new culture in the country,” Mutambara said in his opening address.
“In politics there are differences, there are problems in politics. We must have discipline in the party. We must play by the rules of the game. Yes we have problems in the party, the national chairperson (Mudzumwe) is not here.”
… Despite losing his presidency, Mutambara said he would work harder than anyone to hold the party together.
“Even without a position, I will be a soldier in the party,” he said.
“We must work hard to maintain this very important party.”
The ninth of February 2011, only a month later, the tune has changed – “Mutambara fires Ncube“;
“I was prepared to pass the baton to a new leader but that had to be done through a legitimate congress. Unfortunately that has not happened. Colleagues are in the courts challenging the legality of the congress. There is now a vacuum,” he said.
“I don’t recognise Ncube as president of the party and you can’t have a party without a leader. I am the legitimate leader of the MDC until a leadership is put in place or the court rules in favour of Ncube.
Discipline in the party, indeed. How can someone who declared himself an ordinary, loyal member of the party do such a sudden about turn?
Also, Mr Roboto, a challenge in the High Court does not annull the results of the elective congress – indeed the burden of proof is not on the party, but the few individuals challenging that congress. It’s up to them to prove to the court that it was illegitimate, not for the party to put itself on hold for the challenge to be heard.
The hidden hand, indeed.