via Ncube-Biti reunion loses steam – NewZimbabwe 17/10/2015 by Nkosana Dlamini
THE much-hyped reunification pact between two MDC breakaway factions now looks set to die a natural death after both parties have shown little enthusiasm to continue pursuing it.
The two formations November last year came together to form a loose merger under the United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC).
But the unification process was put on hold after the Tendai Biti led MDC Renewal Team (now People’s Democratic Party) saw 21 of its sitting MPs dislodged from the house for ditching the main opposition.
The group requested for time from its erstwhile colleagues to challenge the expulsion of its legislators in courts as well as hold an elective congress.
But since the PDP’s congress last month, little enthusiasm has been displayed towards renewing the stalled merger with strong signs both parties have abandoned the plan.
In separate interviews with NewZimbabwe.com, both parties affirmed their interest to pursue the plan with the Welshman Ncube-led MDC saying it was still waiting to hear from the Biti group.
“We are ready; the document (reunification agreement) is on the shelf and we are waiting for communication from them now that they have held their congress and came up with a leadership,” said party spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi.
Chihwayi inadvertently confirmed there was little activity backstage by declaring his party was leaving nothing to chance in preparations for the 2018 elections.
“We are in the trenches, we are moving on and as I speak I am in Bulawayo strategizing ahead of 2018. We did not stop working. We are not parked,” he said.
PDP secretary general Gorden Moyo said his party was still interested in the merger, adding that, “now that we have constituted ourselves and have a fully-fledged party, we are now ready to engage our colleagues.”
The former state enterprises minister denied enthusiasm from both parties has died down saying his party was in fact leading the national push to strike deals with fellow opposition forces.
Reports say the goodwill between the two formations has been squandered through the apparent ‘theft’ of some top MDC officials who have since joined PDP with strong suspicions former MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was sponsoring the exodus.
MDC women and youth organs have demanded the firebrand MP’s recall from parliament.
However, Moyo denied the growing lethargy was fuelled by simmering tensions between the two formations, adding that the relationship was still very good.
He added: “There is nothing like that fiction; those are phantoms.
“There is nothing like stealing members. Zimbabweans are free to join any political party. That’s democracy.”
The Welshman Ncube led MDC was first to secede from the mainstream MDC in 2005 and was followed by the Tendai Biti led group 2014.
Both parties have blamed their breaking away on alleged violence, barren leadership and the dictatorial tendencies by founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.