Minister of Industry and Commerce; Secretary General of the MDC-M
Date of Birth: 07/07/1961
Career: Law lecturer, University of Zimbabwe, 1986-92; Law Professor, University of Zimbabwe, 1992-99; Member, Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe, 1997; Spokesman, National Constitutional Assembly, 1999; Secretary-General, Movement for Democratic Change, 1999-05; Member of
Parliament for Bulawayo North East, 2000-05; charged with treason together with Morgan Tsvangirai and Renson Gasela but acquitted, 2002; Member of Parliament, Bulawayo East; 2005-08; Secretary-General, Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara, 2005 to date; Chief Negotiator for
MDC-Mutambara faction 2006-; lost elections for Makokoba seat 2008; Minister of Industry and Commerce, 2009-;
Commentary: Welshman Ncube rose to prominence in 1999 as one of the academics that joined the worker-dominated Movement for Democratic Change, landing the powerful post of Secretary-General. He remained Tsvangirai’s right hand man for the next six years but split with him in 2005 after Tsvangirai refused to participate in the re-introduced senate elections.
Though his faction ended up the smaller of the two, Ncube walked away withmore Parliamentary seats than Tsvangirai but surrendered the party leadership to outsider Arthur Mutambara, an action that puzzled a lot of MDC supporters and eventually cost the party the vote in the 2008 elections. Ncube was the chief negotiator for the Mutambara faction helping craft both the Kariba Constitution and sealing the agreement that brought about the Global Political Agreement under which the three parties joined the government of
national unity in February 2009. Ncube was appointed Minister of Industry and Commerce, a very powerful post. But he has no political base since he lost his parliamentary seat in the 2008 elections.
He remains a key political player and, potentially,
a powerful broker in Zimbabwe South-Africa relations as his son, Bongani, is married to South African President Jacob Zuma’s daughter, Gugulethu. He is a deeply divisive figure but he has the confidence to stand for the presidency and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has left the leadership contest open for him within the MDC. Ncumbe was elected unopposed as leader of the party but friction has arison since after Mutumbara refused to to cede his government position of Deputy Prime Minister.