Thursday, April 25, 2013

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) Why MDC reunification is impossible: Ncube
25/04/2013 00:00:00
by Guthrie Munyuki I Daily News

COMMENT - I've said it a hundred times, but what are the democratic credentials of the MDC? They are a collection of neoliberal grifters, Matabele secessionists, and the remnants of the Rhodesian Front, whose members themselves were part of Rhodesian army units which committed atrocities, if they didn't commit atrocities themselves. There is even footage of Roy Bennet attacking minister Patrick Chinamasa, in parliament. But now many call themselves 'human rights lawyers', just because they try to cling on to their colonial estates.

MDC leader Welshman Ncube says a re-unification of the former opposition party is "impossible" and a coalition with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party very unlikely because he is unprincipled.

The MDC split in 2005 because of Tsvangirai's failure to tackle violence and intimidation within the party, and his refusal to accept collective decision making, Ncube says in an interview published on Thursday.

“Of course there is a problem. The problems which led to the split remain alive today. They remain unresolved. In fact the cracks are wider today than they were in 2005. The only thing we literally share in common is that we agree that Zanu PF and Mugabe have been bad for the country,” Ncube told the Daily News.

“That’s about all that we agree on. We are not in agreement on just about anything and everything else. The things which divided us in 2005 still divide us today.

People cannot simply say these are personal differences. They are not petty and they are not personal.

They go to the foundation of the MDC itself.

“When we formed the MDC there were things that we agreed on, what we called a programme for change. That programme for change bound us to certain values and principles.

“And those values and principles included that it is an affront on anyone to be subjected to violence in order to secure the support of that person.

“There is no greater affront on the dignity of a human being than to subject a person to violence whether it’s within the family to say you must comply as my wife with my dictates, if you don’t I beat you. In the political arena it’s the same thing.

“If you don’t agree with me I then subject you to violence. It is an affront. It is a basic violation of the dignity of every person. And we agreed that we will never do that as a political party”.

“These are real issues. They are not petty. They are not personal. They are fundamental and if we are going to work together in whatever form, you must be able to address them.

“You can’t duck them or sweep them under the carpet. That’s why we have said and continue to say we regret contentiously any attempt to trivialise those issues into something personal and petty between Morgan and Welshman,” said the former University of Zimbabwe law lecturer.

Ncube charged Tsvangirai promoted violence at Harvest House, the MDC headquarters.

“Our colleagues in the MDC-T only have a rhetorical commitment to anti violence. Day in, day out, beginning with the time of the split, they employ violence.

“In the MDC, by 2005 we were running a militia in the party to abuse, to abduct, to beat up people. There were senior party members who were being abducted and taken to the sixth floor boardroom of Harvest House and stripped naked in front of girls and beaten,” claimed Ncube.

“(Tichaona) Mudzingwa (late former deputy minister of Transport), for instance was stripped naked at the party head office and made to stand on a table to address young people who included girls as young as 20 years, and was beaten.

“Frank Chamunorwa, who is our vice chairperson today, was beaten right at the gate of my house and had his arm broken.

“When the national council said we expel these people, the president of the party (Tsvangirai) said I reinstate them on my own, unilaterally. It simply says we do not have a commitment to the principle of non-violence. It’s a matter of public record that within the party, they use violence as an instrument of getting their way even among themselves.

“Let us go to the core value. We said never again will we have a country which is led by a man who makes decisions alone, who has power to overrule collective decisions. We want to institute collective leadership. What the president of the united MDC (Tsvangirai) did in reinstating those violent youths was overruling a national council decision.”

He said it was false to claim the problems between him and Tsvangirai were personal, insisting abhorrence for violence and corruption were among the issues which put him at odds with the prime minister.

“We identified in the programme for change that what had brought the economy to its knees was that instead of creating wealth the economy was feeding the greed of a few individuals through corruption. You don’t need to look too far, look at any council today controlled by our colleagues in the MDC-T.

“You can’t distinguish the corruption from the Zanu PF corruption and you ask yourself we are not there to replace Mugabe as an individual. We are saying let us replace Mugabe and Zanu PF with a system which is diametrically the opposite to the present one. But we have no confidence our colleagues in the MDC-T have equal commitment,” said Ncube.

“When people talk about reunification which I can rule out as an absolute impossibility, it will not happen. The best you can hope for is some coalition. It must be a coalition based on principles. But you cannot put in a coalition political parties which are at opposite ends of each other because that is where we are”.

The Industry and Commerce minister blamed Tsvangirai for finding comfort in his meetings with President Robert Mugabe which he said were fooling him into a sense of false comfort.

“In our view the prime minister and the MDC-T have been deceived and fooled by the appearance of power and cosiness with Mugabe to think that if you are having tea with Mugabe, you have power and influence.

“And the result of it is that we have seen a merry-go -round where constantly we are chasing our tails. Zanu PF is constantly firing red herrings, flares into the sky and we chase them and leave the real issues. But it’s a red herring constructed by Zanu PF.

“We completed the constitution exercise on July 18 last year. Zanu PF spent six months, from July to January 31, making us chase shadows. If you actually compare the final draft as of January 31 this year to the July 18 draft there is no material difference save for the suspension of two or three clauses from coming into effect until a certain period of time,” observed Ncube.

“But everything else is virtually as it was in July. But we spent six months on a merry-go-round. And it was deliberate, calculated, to waste time so that we do not do the real things that ought to be done. It is the failure to appreciate this Zanu PF strategy that we will be chasing red herrings until the election is unavoidable and the things that we ought to do have not been done.

“And this is our profound disappointment with our colleagues in MDC-T in failing to appreciate how Zanu PF is running rings around them. And they serve you with tea; they make you think you are important because they have included you in the meantime you are being deceived. The strategy of three Ds — delay, deceive and destroy. That’s what being applied to them,” Ncube said.

The apparent lack of unity between the two MDCs, said Ncube, was aiding Mugabe.

“There is no appreciation that the true beneficiary of this is President Mugabe. Tsvangirai doesn’t see that it undermines his own interests and his party and that the only person who stands to benefit from causing this paralysis in the government is the president and the party which has never wanted the GPA implemented from day one, is Zanu PF."

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