Disarray within the formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara increased on Thursday as the party’s leadership issued an ultimatum to the House speaker to oust three lawmakers the grouping has expelled.
Mutambara MDC Secretary General, Welshman Ncube told a news conference in Harare which was attended by the deputy prime minister that if Speaker Lovemore Moyo fails to declare the House seats vacant the party will refer the matter to judicial authorities.
But expelled Mutambara MDC dissident Abednico Bhebhe fired back, dismissing the National Council meeting as a kangaroo court and vowing to convene a special congress to rally members to his side, correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare.
The MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, meanwhile, said its national executive council will meet Friday to discuss problems in the national unity government ahead of a visit later this month by South African President Jacob Zuma – who is also chairman of the Southern African Development Community until SADC’s September summit.
Mr. Zuma has been asked by the Tsvangirai MDC to mediate seemingly intractable issues that continue to trouble the government including in particular the leadership of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Office of the Attorney General. The party is also disturbed by the rising number of MDC lawmakers who have been prosecuted and in some cases convicted of serious offenses, putting their seats and the MDC House majority at risk.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the meeting will also examine the general health of the party.