Ncube says ‘extremely unlikely’ MDC factions will unite

Professor Welshman Ncube, who leads the smaller MDC formation, has told SW Radio Africa that ‘it is extremely unlikely’ his party will unite with the larger MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube

The formerly united MDC split in 2005 over whether to participate in senate elections. Since then relations have gradually deteriorated, with regular sniping including personal attacks between Ncube and Tsvangirai.

On Wednesday Ncube was a guest on our Question Time programme and explained why attempts to unite the factions in 2008 had failed. He claimed negotiations to unite the factions were conducted between Tsvangirai and Ncube’s predecessor, Arthur Mutambara, and an agreement was struck.

Ncube says the national council of his party approved the coalition pact but the equivalent body in the MDC-T rejected the agreement.

“In 2008 we did everything that was reasonably possible to actually fight the election from the same one corner. Our national council approved the coalition pact that had been negotiated between the two parties, which would have seen Morgan Tsvangirai stand as the sole candidate, whom we would all support.”

“But you will also know that the MDC-T national council rejected that agreement, and going by the reasons for the rejection I believe it is really unlikely that they could ever change their position on those issues,” Ncube told SW Radio Africa.

“It is extremely unlikely, that there will be any re-unification of the MDC in whatever form but I don’t think that conclusion is as a result of any alleged or purported acrimony, it is essentially because as political parties, we represent and stand for different things now,” he added.

Several in Tsvangirai’s party accuse Ncube’s group of demanding representation in the coalition, which does not reflect their support on the ground. Ncube dismissed this saying the agreement had “extremely oppressive clauses against my party.”

Ncube said the main principle in the agreement was that each of the parties would not field candidates in any constituency that already had an MP from the other faction.

Asked by listeners why the two MDC’s could not build on the unity they showed in re-electing MDC-T chairman Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament, Ncube said the MDC-T did not approach them as a party but instead approached their MP’s as individuals.

Ncube accused Tsvangirai’s party of lacking ‘respect’ for them and said at present the MDC-T was enticing their MP’s and councillors to defect. He said because of this ‘there was nothing to build on.” – SW Radio Africa News

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