Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has scoffed at MDC leader Welshman Ncube’s presidential ambitions, dismissing him as a village politician not suitable for “national office”.
Addressing senior MDC-T officials attending the party’s Matabeleland North provincial council meeting at Mpofu Primary School in Lupane on Sunday, Tsvangirai said Ncube confirmed his “village politician” status by concentrating his campaigns in Matabeleland North.
“Ncube should not be taken seriously as a presidential contender.
“He is forgetting that Zimbabwe is not only about Matabeleland North province,” Tsvangirai said.
“He is concentrating on Matabeleland North forgetting that Zimbabwe is also about Manicaland, Mashonaland and so forth.He is now the president of Matabeleland North province. He is doing village politics.”
Ncube has been addressing campaign rallies throughout the country almost every weekend.
His last rally was held in Pumula, Bulawayo, on November 19. Early last month, 10 MDC activists who were on a recruitment drive in Glen Norah, Harare, were arrested while campaigning. Soldiers also attacked MDC supporters in Mutokosoon after Ncube had addressed them at a rally in September.
MDC national spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said it was unfortunate that the PM was equating Matabeleland to a village.
“It is really sad if those words emanated from the mouth of Tsvangirai who thinks all the time Matabeleland is mentioned it means a village,” he said yesterday.
“President Ncube has no obligation to answer to Tsvangirai in terms of strategy.
“If Mutoko is Lupane, if Chikomba is Tsholotsho, if Mashumbi Pools is Nyamandlovu, if Rusape is Nkayi, if Mutare is Bubi, then I can gladly say I am happy that I didn’t learn from the same Geography textbook as Tsvangirai. We will not spend time responding to Tsvangirai. If Ncube is a bad politician, Tsvangirai wouldn’t spend time talking about him.”
Tsvangirai is on a whirlwind tour of all party provinces where he is meeting top provincial leaders and gearing them up for harmonised elections expected early next year.
So far, the MDC-T leader has toured Midlands, Matabeleland South, Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo provinces.
In Lupane, he urged Matabeleland North party structures to ensure that MDC-T wins all the 13 constituencies and demanded 200 000 votes from that province in next year’s elections.
In 2008, the MDC-T garnered five seats in the province, while Zanu PF and Ncube’s MDC got four and three seats respectively.
Former Information minister Jonathan Moyo got one seat when he contested the election as an independent candidate before rejoining Zanu PF.
“We need to win all the 13 constituencies in Matabeleland North,” Tsvangirai said.
“There is no way we are going to donate the constituencies to Zanu PF or Welshman Ncube.
“Well, I cannot even be talking about Ncube, someone who fires his elected MPs and councillors. He will soon be left alone in his party.
“I need 200 000 votes in Matabeleland North which translates into about 10 000 votes per constituency. This is just a minimum,” Tsvangirai said.