Industry minister Welshman Ncube believes receiving an honour from the mainstream MDC-T party at its 12th anniversary celebrations in Harare last weekend would have tainted his political image.
Ncube, who leads the smaller MDC faction, was not given any accolade when MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai honoured individuals that played a pivotal role in the formation of his party 12 years ago.
He said the MDC-T had been reduced to a “mirror image of the violent and deceptive Zanu PF”.
But, MDC T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora denied his party was violent arguing Ncube was “bitter” at being left out in the cold.
Mwonzora said in any case they would not honour the “president of another political party”.
“As regards Gibson Sibanda, you have to understand that together with the president of our party, they left the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, where Sibanda was the president of the ZCTU, to form MDC,” he said.
“In that regard, Ncube cannot be regarded as an equal to the late Sibanda. In any case, although Sibanda was a member of the breakaway group, he was not the one behind the split of the party.”
Ncube parted ways with Tsvangirai in 2005 following policy differences. However, conspicuous by his absence from the list of those honoured by Tsvangirai at Gwanzura Stadium was Ncube, who was the party’s founding secretary-general. Ncube said he was not perturbed by being left out in the MDC-T list.
“There is a misconception here,” he said.
“The party we are talking about here is MDC-T and not the united MDC. Frankly speaking, some of us would not have been happy to receive recognition from a party that has become a mirror image of the violent Zanu PF. Even Gibson Sibanda would have been offended if he was alive and was honoured by such a party.” Ncube said the MDC-T no longer stood for the values that inspired the formation of the original party which he and others formed.
Ncube said the “deceptive nature” of the MDC-T and Zanu PF was the one which led the two parties to be caught in the web of the WikiLeaks scandal.
Among those honoured at the weekend included Tsvangirai, his deputy Thokozani Khuphe and secretary-general Tendai Biti.
Also honoured posthumously along with Sibanda were Isaac Matongo and Learnmore Jongwe.
Others were Ernest Mudavanhu, who coined the MDC-T slogan, Grace Kwinjeh, who suggested the party name, and actor Joe Pike, who came up with the party’s logo.
A Harare-based social commentator, Hopewell Gumbo, was also honoured as well as Dennis Murira, Lucia Matibenga, Sekai Holland and Paurina Mpariwa.