Allegations by MDC-T national executive member Mr Eddie Cross that the opposition coalition is being hindered by tribal interests is not only reckless, but can cause civil unrest, party chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo said yesterday. Mr Moyo was responding to an article penned by Mr Cross on his website recently alleging that there were Ndebele and Kalanga tribal interests that were being a stumbling block to the coalition formation with other parties ahead of the 2018 elections.
Mr Cross said the phenomenon was emerging in the MDC-T and People's Democratic Party. The allegations were interpreted to be targeting Mr Moyo, party vice president Ms Thokozani Khupe and national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe, who have objected to the allocation of seats to be contested under the coalition. The objection has led to a fall out between MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and the trio, resulting in the three being manhandled by party youths allegedly from the former Prime Minister's office recently.
"I have seen the article and what I can say is that it is sad that a national executive member who is also a Member of Parliament in Bulawayo South would interpret serious concerns of a political nature as a tribal issue or tribal agenda," said Mr Moyo.
"This is a very reckless statement from a national executive member which has potential to incite tribalism and cause social unrest in the country." In the PDP, that allegations were reportedly directed at a clique led by the party's secretary-general Dr Gorden Moyo which recently expelled their leader Mr Tendai Biti and some senior members over disagreements around the coalition.
Mr Moyo said there was nothing tribal about their stance towards the formation of an opposition coalition as they felt there was an unfair distribution of seats to be contested among the parties.
"There is nothing tribal about wanting a workable coalition agreement that is fair. We need a coalition that will contribute to getting a lot of votes, but as that agreement stands it does not offer president (Morgan) Tsvangirai votes needed to win the elections. It actually deducts votes," he said. Mr Moyo said there was an unfair distribution of seats not only in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces only, but in Mashonaland West and other provinces.
"I don't see any Ndebele or Kalanga interests emerging from these concerns," he said.
"He has to explain where he is getting that from because our concerns have to do with the interests of Zimbabwe and winning elections." Mr Moyo expressed shock at the recent comments made by Mr Cross on the health of Mr Tsvangirai where the Bulawayo South legislator indicated that his boss' illness had taken a toll on him that he may not be able to contest in the 2018 elections.
"He is not the spokesperson of the party and I don't know from what point of privilege he makes these pronouncements because the health of Mr Tsvangirai is a private matter," he said.