Leader of MDC-T Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has come under attack from the MDC-M for his weekend rebuke of its secretary general Welshman Ncube over his alleged presidential ambitions.
The MDC-M led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara came out breathing fire Monday, calling Tsvangirai a “misguided” and tribal leader.
“We are puzzled but not surprised by the president of the MDC-T, Morgan Tsvangirai’s attack on the secretary-general of the MDC, Professor Welshman Ncube at the weekend.
“We wonder as to what it is that has angered and disturbed Tsvangirai that he would sink to the very low depths that he has done,” Dube said.
Addressing a rally at Stanley Square in Bulawayo’s Makokoba Township over the weekend, Tsvangirai claimed that Ncube, the MDC-M secretary general, had always harbored presidential ambitions before the 2005 split of the original MDC but was not bold enough to come out in the open.
“As we prepare our roadmap towards elections, some people will approach the constituency asking you to join their parties. We have Zapu and the other MDC. I now hear that Ncube who was beaten by MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe for the MP post, now wants to be president of MDC-M,” Tsvangirai said. “Instead of hiring someone as he did with Mutambara, he now wants the post himself. It was better for him to have come out in the open and say I want to be MDC president.”
This followed insinuations by Ncube that he would at next congress, be gunning for the presidential position held by Mutambara.
This apparently infuriated Mutambara who immediately dismissed Ncube’s assertions as wild wishes.
Mutambara’s party said from its Bulawayo office that it was common knowledge that MDC M would hold its congress early next year “and that at the congress there will be elections for the party’s leadership as it is required by the party constitution”.
“Equally it cannot be an obvious fact that the party’s congress has the absolute discretion to deploy any of its leaders and members to any position as congress sees fit,” said Dube.
He said all current leaders in the party were required to avail themselves for deployment to any position.
“What possible crime has Professor Ncube committed by simply restating these banal obvious facts including the equally banal fact that he, together with all other leaders of the party, would as per the party’s democratic constitution, be available and ready to be deployed to any positions in the party as congress sees fit.”
Digging the knife deeper into Tsvangirai, Dube said memories of “terror” unleashed by the MDC-T leader on party members before the split were still fresh in their minds.
“We still painfully remember the terror Tsvangirai unleashed on the united MDC party cadres including Prof Ncube, who were required to constantly state and reaffirm that they would not accept deployment by congress to the position of president,’’ said Dube. “But with Ncube’s MDC-M, we vowed that never again in our party would leaders be subjected to the constant humiliation of professing that they would not allow congress to elect them to the position of party president.
“Our code of ethics, as a party has all along guided us against making any public comment on the internal affairs of his (Tsvangirai’s ) party, including the chaos happening right now,’’ said Dube before he asked: “Does he (Tsvangirai) seriously want to invite us to join him in the unseemly pastime of concerning ourselves with the numerous goings on in his party?”
“We don’t think so and for now we decline the invitation for we think that the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe should have better things to do such as explaining to the country how it is that he continually marginalises those of his party who hail from Matabeleland, and how it is that deployments of ambassadors can take place without his input, and why it is that he failed to read the riot act to the minister of Foreign Affairs (Simbarashe Mumbengegwi) whom he supervises.’’