By Tichaona Sibanda
28 November 2012
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party has come out in defence of its leader who has been the target of strong criticisms and personal attacks from leaders of the smaller MDC formation.
Officials and aides in the MDC-T on Wednesday condemned what they called the strategies being employed by Professor Welshman Ncube’s party.
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that officials and aides in Tsvangirai’s office are concerned that he’s being subjected to a media harassment campaign which has been intensified since the deadlock of the COPAC draft.
The officials hit out at political parties who don’t speak out about how to resolve the COPAC deadlock, but are more concerned with just ‘flinging mud’ at each other.
Sources said Tsvangirai had angered Ncube and the secretary-general of the party, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, who assumed he was lending support to Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to block Ncube from the constitution making process.
It is believed this stemmed from the fact that Ncube had to wait an hour before he was invited to join Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara, who were meeting as GPA principals, which Ncube is not.
A source told us Ncube was invited to join the meeting of political leaders after the first meeting had finished. During this meeting Ncube, together with Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara, endorsed a proposal brought up by Eric Matinenga, the Constitutional Affairs Minister, to set up a committee to look into the submissions made by delegates at the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference.
A senior official at Harvest House said for the past two months Tsvangirai had been insisting that Ncube be present in their political leaders meetings.
‘Zimbabweans deserve better than false attacks and fabricated negative news. Ncube can’t back up any of his false attacks with an actual fact. In as much as we endorse the rights of individuals to free expression, we are rather surprised to see via media a blitz of uninformed malicious remarks streaming out of the leadership of the smaller MDC formation.
‘They must tread on the path of caution and exhibit political maturity in their attempt to win the hearts and minds of the electorate. You can’t win the election on false accusation and propaganda against your opponents,’ the official said.
Tsvangirai’s new chief of staff Dr Alex Magaisa waded into the fray, when he clarified that following the SADC Maputo decision, the MDC-T leader has always insisted that Ncube should be involved as one of the principals.
‘He personally called Ncube, who was in Uganda for a COMESA conference, advising him that he had to be involved and that the discussion due to be held on the 19th November 2012 would be deferred to the 26th November to enable him to attend and participate.
‘It was duly deferred. Tsvangirai has insisted on a point of principle, on complying with the SADC decision on the issue of principals. It is incorrect and false that Tsvangirai has endorsed the exclusion of Ncube in the constitutional negotiations,’ Magaisa wrote on his Facebook page of the social network site.
He continued: ‘Unfortunately, in the selfish pursuit of political space and the politics of divide and conquer, a false impression has been created that Tsvangirai is acting in cahoots with Mugabe to sideline Ncube.’
Political analyst Sanderson Makombe said Ncube needs to break the tradition of political mudslinging, especially against Tsvangirai when his target should be Mugabe.
He said there is consensus among many Zimbabweans that political leaders should rise above party interests and make a grand alliance against the forces of corruption and bad governance that have destroyed the country since independence.