MDC leader Welshman Ncube says he regrets the split of the united MDC in 2005 over participation in Senate polls.
Ncube, who rose to the helm of the party last weekend after ousting Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, believes a united MDC would have beaten Zanu PF “hands down” in the 2008 harmonised elections.
He, however, insists MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai is to blame for the split because of his style of governance.
“The split of the MDC, in my entire life, my 50 years by July this year, is something that hurts me the most. The most painful and hurtful period in my life was October 2005 to February 2006, the period of the split,” Ncube said.
“No other period in my life have I suffered more pain, more hurt and more agony. It’s something I reflect on regularly and ask if we could have done things differently, if there could there have been another outcome.
“I regret the split of the MDC daily, but I take heart in that if the situation that we were in was to present itself again, I would take the same route.”
Ncube accused Tsvangirai of breaching the core principles of the MDC resulting in disharmony in the party.
He said Tsvangirai had breached the principle of the rejection of violence as a political instrument resulting in hired thugs terrorising party supporters and officials who questioned anything.
“The second issue was whether we as a party could say there are moments in the history of the party, exceptional circumstances, where the leader could walk out on the majority? If he could reject the vote of the national council, what would stop him from rejecting the vote of the people?” he said, referring to Tsvangirai’s refusal to have the party participate in senatorial elections despite the national council’s decision to participate.
“Democracy requires that you respect the will of the people even if you know to the marrow of your bone that they are wrong. Was it right to use violence after disagreeing on whether to participate in elections or not and then resort to ethnicity and say the Ndebeles have revolted, because some of us had raised questions?” Ncube asked.
“For some of us had to walk, the principles were worth far much more.”
Ncube said he was confident that were it not for the split, Zanu PF would have been history.
“Our national council had agreed and signed the deal (to fight Zanu PF as a united front), but they (MDC-T) backtracked at the 11th hour because they wanted to show the world that they were more popular than us. Fine, they were more popular, but what did they get from that?” he asked.
“If we collate our votes, for the House of Assembly, Senate and presidential election, it’s clear that Zanu PF would have been out of power. We would have got about 58%of the votes which is more than 50% plus one vote which was needed.”
Ncube said his party was confident that it would have a huge impact on the next election, but said it was ready to form a coalition with other parties to remove Zanu PF from power.
He, however, said his party has not been negotiating with any other party over the issue, although the idea was noble if other players were serious.
“I can guarantee that we will not be the obstacle to a coalition,” he said.