By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
24 March 2014
The MDC-T must deal with its internal problems before seeking an alliance with other parties, a senior ZAPU official has said.
ZAPU’s comments come after a Monday Daily News report quoted secretary general Strike Mkandla saying the party will ‘consider’ MDC-T’s proposal for a coalition. But in an interview with SW Radio Africa, Mkandla said while he is not ruling out a merger with the MDC-T it is ZAPU’s view that Morgan Tsvangirai’s party is ‘not yet ready’ for a partnership with other parties.
Mkandla said: ‘The timing is not good on Tsvangirai’s side. If you are fighting with your colleagues it cannot be the right time to seek partnerships. He has to sort out his problems first.’
The Daily News said MDC-T national organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa called on ‘progressive forces including ZAPU’ to form a grand coalition ahead of the 2018 elections. The call was made a fortnight ago at a rally in Bulawayo where the MDC-T publicly readmitted former executives of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation, Edward Mkhosi and Siyabonga Malandu.
The MDC-T has also readmitted former St Mary MP Job Sikhala and former Gweru mayor Tedious Chimombe back into its ranks. Sikhala was one of the notable figures who left the party during the infamous 2005 spilt.
Almost 10 years on the MDC-T is once again embroiled in internal squabbles with fears that the party could be headed for yet another split. The problems arose after suspended deputy treasurer general, Elton Mangoma, wrote a letter to Tsvangirai urging him to step down and allow new leadership to take over.
The Ncube-led MDC has already commented on the calls for a grand alliance saying Tsvangirai should make a formal approach if he is genuinely seeking to partner with other opposition parties. The MDC also said it would consider a pact with the MDC-T only if their bitter rivals ‘changed their ways’ and renounced violence. The comments followed an assault on Mangoma by suspected MDC-T youths outside the party’s headquarters in Harare over his call for Tsvangirai to step down.
The National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku has ruled out any partnership with Tsvangirai saying his call for a merger was an ‘insult’.
Ahead of last year’s election ZAPU snubbed the MDC-T’s overtures for a coalition and settled for a pact with Ncube’s party instead. ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa has previously admitted that his party partnered with Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile in the 2008 election, specifically to prevent an MDC-T outright victory.