Following a report on this site last week that MDC leader Welshman Ncube and Senator David Coltart were at odds over need for an electoral pact ahead of the 2013 elections, the two have sought to play down their differences, yet doubling down on their positions.
Some people are calling on Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai to bury the hatchet and forge a coalition to boost the MDC’s prospects of dethroning President Robert Mugabe in the next polls. The following are brief statements issued by Ncube and Coltart on social media Thursday.
Welshman Ncube and I are not in fact at odds on this issue. Both of us agree that in an ideal world we should have a single united opposition against Zanu PF but we both recognise that that is well-nigh impossible. In the circumstances we should strive to agree on an electoral pact so that we do not split the vote as happened in 2008.
We both know this will be very difficult and if there is any disagreement between us it is in how we rate the chances of obtaining an electoral pact. He is very pessimistic that this is possible whereas whilst I am also fairly pessimistic I think it is still possible. My views in this regard should not be taken as any fundamental disagreement between us or any loss of faith by me in his leadership.
David Coltart is correct. We all believe that it would be easier to defeat Zanu PF if we had a united democratic opposition to Zanu PF and that such a democratic united opposition is desirable and necessary.
We differ only in respect of whether conditions for the creation of such a united democratic opposition to Zanu PF exists in Zimbabwe today and on whether given the objective conditions on the ground it is possible to achieve such a position. I believe that the reunification of the MDC is impossible for reasons too numerous to detail here.
I also believe that given the things which divide the two MDC formations and what has gone on between the two parties since the split, it is equally impossible to construct any coalition agreement that would receive the support of the respective National Councils of the two parties.
More importantly, having regard to where the two parties stand in relation to each other today, any honest assessment will show that there just is not sufficient appetite for any coalition within the decision-making bodies of the two parties.
In 2008 the MDC National Council authorized negotiations for a coalition and later endorsed the agreed coalition agreement but the MDC-T National Council rejected that agreement. Today, I doubt if the MDC National Council would even authorize any negotiations on the matter given the general sentiment in the party. I believe the same situation prevails in the MDC-T.
We are, however, a democratic part, those who want to try to construct such a coalition agreement as might be possible are free to do so. Some of us will continue to focus on implementing the MDC Congress resolutions which inter alia require us to focus on the rebuilding and rebranding of our party and preparations for contesting every electoral seat at the 2013 general elections.