via MDCs merger ‘dead in the water’ – NewZimbabwe 09/05/2015
THE planned merger of the two MDC formations appears to be dead in the water after the MDC Renewal Team announced plans to hold their first congress in September, the same month the two parties were meant to hold their first joint congress.
The two formations, one led by Professor Welshman Ncube and the other fronted by Sekai Holland were on course to form one party to be known as United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC).
They were expected to hold an inaugural joint congress in August, where the new party was expected to elect its new leadership.
A joint policy conference planned for April never took place, with reports suggesting that MDC Renewal had its own separate policy conference.
However, MDC Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume said his party was planning to hold its first congress following its breakaway from the mainstream MDC, in September.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Mafume confirmed the plans, saying it was part of the reunification roadmap.
“The congress is part of the audit structure,” he said.
“As you know were supposed to hold separate congresses and then a joint congress. We will continue with the arrangement as it is, it is just that the timelines are a bit off due to practical constraints to do with funding.
“Each party is supposed to do its own congress and come to the reunification process with its own leadership, which will be merged through the agreed methodology.”
Mafume added that the joint congress is now likely to take place later than initially planned.
“The reunification congress has to be pushed forward,” he explained.
Reunification or coalition
“We will have to find a practical period as you know our colleagues are having a period of soul searching as a party where there are issues to do with key leaders and key positions that they have to settle.
“We need to give them time to go through that process.”
However, the MDC spokesperson Joshua Mhambi said the reunification process was stalled by the developments in the MDC Renewal camp after 21 of its MPs were fired from parliament.
“We were hoping that after resolving the issue in court and the final verdict that they got, they would then resume discussions but it is interesting to note that of late they have been talking of their congress, structuring and organise themselves as a party.
“The rationale behind that is best known by them and it seems, by implication, that they are repudiating the whole unification purpose because they are the ones who are suggesting that the programme has been suspended,” said Mhambi.
Mhambi said signs exhibited by the MDC Renewal team suggested to them that the latter was no longer interested in the reunification process.
“We seem to be sensing that they are becoming independent or maybe turning their back on us, which is really not an issue but we are observing that kind of behaviour,” he said.
A senior MDC official who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com on condition of anonymity said the reunification process was facing collapse.
“We are surprised by their utterances in the media which insinuate a change of tune on their part,” said the official.
“There were two processes that were taking place between the two parties; that is coalition and reunifications. They are now avoiding talking about reunification and are pretending it was all about forming a coalition.”
The official revealed that the MDC Renewal leadership boycotted a meeting they had requested with the MDC leadership in Bulawayo on Thursday.
“Their leadership requested a meeting with our own leadership yesterday (Thursday) and they didn’t bother to show up, after most of our leadership had travelled all the way from Harare for the meeting,” said the official.