MDC senator David Coltart has differed sharply with his boss, Welshman Ncube, over the need for an electoral pact with Morgan Tsvangirai, declaring that an alliance is “absolutely necessary” ahead of elections next year.
Ncube, leader of the MDC, dismissed chances of any such coalition with the MDC-T recently saying the two parties stood for diametrically different causes.
“We are MDC and we won’t have pacts. We stand alone because what we stand for is different from what other parties stand for,” Ncube said.
But Education Minister Coltart on Sunday differed with Ncube saying while he agreed that reuniting the splintered party would not be easy, he believed a coalition to unseat President Robert Mugabe was not only possible but necessary.
“Reunification is desirable but very difficult,” Coltart said on the micro-blogging site, Twitter. “So an election pact is more feasible and necessary.”
At a recent rally, Tsvangirai dismissed Ncube as a petty “village politician” unsuitable for national office.
Ncube took umbrage at the characterisation, and when asked if he would consider coalescing with Tsvangirai, he retorted: “How can villagers unite with royalty?”
Those close to the two men say they had a longstanding mutual contempt for each other that snowballed into outright hatred following the MDC split in 2005.
The idea of a broad democratic coalition is currently being thrown around, with some people urging both Tsvangirai and Ncube to bury the hatchet and forge an alliance.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti - one of the officials who vainly pushed for the reunification of the party ahead of the 2008 polls - says while he has given up on the prospects of a reunification, he still hopes a pact is achievable.
“I pray that there will be maturity at the relevant time not for the reunification of the parties, I think that will never happen, but for some kind of electoral pact,” Biti told NewZimbabwe.com recently.
“I hope the leaders of all the democracy loving political parties in Zimbabwe - Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa, Welshman Ncube, Morgan Tsvangirai and others - will come together for some kind of pact.”
Had the two MDC formations contested the last election as a united force, Tsvangirai would have won decisively.
But a split opposition vote, coupled with violence and intimidation by Zanu PF functionaries, laid the ground for Mugabe, 88, to remain in office.
Tsvangirai fell shy of the requisite 50.1 percent, polling 47.9 percent of the vote against Mugabe’s 43.2 percent.
Backed by the Ncube MDC, Mavambo/Kusile leader Simba Makoni bagged 8.3 percent. A run-off followed between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, but the MDC-T leader pulled out citing violence.