Reports of sharp differences between MDC-M leader Arthur Mutambara and secretary-general Welshman Ncube have been dismissed by senior party officials as mere speculation meant to widen existing cracks within the smaller faction of the MDC.
Speculation has been swirling in the media and MDC-M rank and file that Ncube, who was instrumental in bringing in Mutambara on board when the MDC split in 2005, has been tipped to take over from the robotics professor.
But the party’s elections director, Paul Themba Nyathi, who has for a long time been off the radar, told Bulawayo residents at a meeting organised by Senator David Coltart in his constituency on Monday that there was no bad blood between Mutambara and Ncube.
He said there was nothing peculiar or wrong in people jostling for positions in the party, especially at a time they were preparing for congress next month.
Nyathi was responding to questions from the floor on what was happening in the party’s top echelons, against the backdrop of numerous reports of internecine brawls for positions.
There are allegations that Mutambara and Ncube are fighting over the presidential position of the party.
“There is no fighting in the party as such, but in cases when a party prepares for congress where the leadership will be elected, it is bound to happen that we have campaigns for certain positions.
“Having a number of people contesting for a position in the party is not destructive, but it is a way of strengthening the party as we go for the congress. It is not a crime for me as an eligible member to also say I will stand for the presidency of the party. There is nothing wrong about that,” said Nyathi.
He said it is only the media and the people who want to raise issues over nothing thereby trying to divide the party in the process. Nyathi said there is no way people would get into party positions through trading blows.
Coltart, who is party’s secretary for legal affairs, played down the tensions saying he always met Ncube and Mutambara together and has never noticed any differences between them.
“Our party is intact,” he said.
“I am always meeting Mutambara and Ncube on regular occasions and have not noticed bad blood between them. Ncube and Mutambara enjoy cordial relations and I wonder where these differences are coming from.”