The Welshman Ncube-led MDC has scoffed at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s claims that the party was a regional grouping, labeling him a “coward” who is afraid of stiff competition posed by its president.
The Zimbabwean Premier told a French-based magazine recently, that Ncube was leading a party that has “retreated to be a regional party” which is not “healthy for uniting the people”.
Tsvangirai had been asked on the prospect of reunification of anti-Mugabe forces.
However, his comments have infuriated the MDC.
Party national spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told NewsDay yesterday that Tsvangirai had embarked on a desperate bid to hoodwink the electorate into believing that the MDC-T was the only party with a national outlook and ability to dislodge Zanu PF.
“Tsvangirai’s comments that MDC is a regional party are insulting, but not surprising to us. It’s a reflection of his political background of being a Zanu PF youth that everyone is aware of.
“To us, it shows that Tsvangirai is a coward and afraid of stiff competition coming from a rising star in the form of Welshman Ncube,” said Dube.
Dube added that the Premier’s “regional party” reference was an indication that he was not prepared to negotiate with any political party led by a Ndebele.
“Tsvangirai is simply saying ‘I do not recognise or would not negotiate with Dumiso Dabengwa of Zapu or Mthwakazi Liberation Front because they are regional groupings’,” said Dube.
Tsvangirai told the magazine that previous attempts at reunification had failed because Ncube’s MDC had “excuses and demands that we found unacceptable”.
“There’s always been a prospect of uniting all progressive anti-Zanu PF formations. But we have tried it before; there were so many excuses and demands that we found unacceptable.
“If you were to ask the smaller MDC if we differ in any policy framework, you would find that there is not a huge difference.
During his recent rally in Bulawayo, Tsvangirai described the MDC leaders as rebels, referring to the 2005 split.
However, Ncube told the same magazine that he “cannot predict with any degree of certainty” chances of reuniting.
Ncube said differences that led to the split had to be resolved “but it won’t happen if people pretend there are no fundamental differences”.