The Herald (Harare)

10 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Zapu, MDC, Mavambo Say No to Electoral Pact With MDC-T

Leaders of Zapu, MDC and Mavambo-Kusile have ruled out any possibilities of forming an electoral pact with the MDC-T to oust Zanu-PF in the forthcoming general elections. The leaders said this in response to statements by MDC-T secretary general Mr Tendai Biti said only a "determined" coalition of opposition leaders would unseat President Robert Mugabe next year. Presenting a lecture in Manchester, England last Friday, Mr Biti cited the three as political leaders who could defeat President Mugabe if they formed an electoral pact.

In separate interviews yesterday, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu), Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC) and Dr Simba Makoni (Mavambo-Kusile) all concurred that they would never form a pact with the MDC-T. Prof Ncube described the Morgan Tsvangirai led party as an "insincere" political outfit. The two MDC formations tried forming a coalition ahead of the 2008 harmonised elections but the talks collapsed after disagreements in the distribution of parliamentary seats.

Mr Biti, who advocated for the re-unification of the formations, said while it was difficult for the political parties to unite again, the MDC-T was eyeing an electoral pact with other political parties.

"I think it was a disaster, and to prove that those of us who were preaching unity were vindicated, the presidential run-off election was caused by the nine percent that we theoretically lost to Simba Makoni."

"I pray that there will be maturity at the relevant time not for the reunification of the parties . . . I think that will never happen, but for some kind of electoral pact.

"I hope the leaders of all the democracy loving political parties in Zimbabwe - Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa, Welshman Ncube, Morgan Tsvangirai and others - will come together for some kind of pact . . . ,"Mr Biti said.

Prof Ncube's spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi said they would never form a coalition with MDC-T because of different values and principles.

"As it stands we are seas apart and have different values. Instead of him preaching about a pact, he should be preparing his party for the election because we are going to stand independently. Those who would have prepared adequately would carry the day."

Mr Chihwayi said the MDC would only join forces with "like minded" political parties not the MDC-T.

"MDC-T is not a sincere partner because they always indicate left while intending to turn right," he said.

"We will not engage them because in 2008 we tried to form a coalition with them and after spending the whole night negotiating with them, the talks collapsed the following morning. We had withdrawn candidates from some of the constituencies thinking that we were pulling in the same direction with them."

Dr Dabengwa yesterday said his party would stand guided by the members not what other political parties say.

"It is their suggestion but we do not want that because we have members to listen to. We have no intentions of coming together with them because we have got different ideologies. They (MDC-T) are allowed to suggest but we take what comes from our members not them," Dr Dabengwa said.

Dr Makoni ruled out any possibilities of a coalition.

"It's his (Biti) views but it's not in our plans to come together with any political party. We can only welcome Zimbabweans who share our vision of getting Zimbabwe working again. We are willing, ready and able to work with Zimbabweans without a political label," Dr Makoni said.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the revolutionary party would still defeat all parties whether they formed a coalition or not.

"Even if they come together they have no agenda and viable policies. We are not worried because these are small parties that are ideologically bankrupt. We are a party with a leader who defines the future of his country in a positive manner."

Cde Gumbo said Zanu-PF was concentrating on mobilising people to defeat such foreign funded political parties.

"We are not worried about these reactionary parties that are fighting a revolutionary party.

"We are gearing for the elections and victory is what we are preparing for at the moment."

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