HARARE – The power struggles in the two MDC formations: one led by Welshman Ncube and the other by Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma have stalled the reunification process as leaders are going toe-to-toe for the parties’ top posts.

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renewal

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Sources in the MDC Renewal Team have told Nehanda Radio that the tug of war between the two faces of the Renewal proponents is raging but with the coming in of new people and new leaders is expected to dilute the squabbles.

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“Biti and Mangoma are still struggling to win the soul of the Renewal Team but the squabbles are likely to be diluted as new leaders join the party,” the source said.

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Unity talks between the two MDC formations are at an advanced stage but internal strife in the two parties has been a cause for concern.

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In an interview with Nehanda Radio Jacob Mafume said everything is in order and the Renewal Team will hold a rally soon at Stanley Square in Bulawayo.

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“We are holding a rally on March 1 as part of the roadmap for the talks. The parties are doing their structures which will be audited and then district congresses will be held,” Mafume said.

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However sources said the re-unification could have long been completed had Mangoma and Biti not engaged in a bitter tussle to control the Renewal Team.

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“The two do not see eye to eye and Mangoma’s supporters have started to de-campaign Biti, labelling him a coward who could not stand up against MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s dictatorship,” said another source.

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Mangoma was the first to fire a salvo at Tsvangirai, accusing him of lack of leadership qualities and being a dictator who does not respect the party’s constitution hence his supporters want him rewarded for his courage by becoming the party’s president.

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But Biti’s supporters, on the other hand, feel that while the former Energy minister is brave, he does not have the political shrewdness and clout that the former Finance minister possesses.

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The Ncube-led MDC has also of late been hit by resignations by senior party officials with the latest casualty being the former secretary general Priscilla Misihaibwi-Mushonga who tendered her resignation last week.

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Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga

Mushonga resigned as cracks continue to widen in the Ncube-led formation ahead of a planned merger with the MDC Renewal Team. However MDC Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Unity talks between the two formations are at an advanced as stakeholders are meeting on various levels ahead of the final day.

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“They are various dates of meetings for various levels. The joint standing committee met at the beginning of this year to deliberate on the progress of the roadmap.” “Cluster committees have been set up to meet regularly in between and the organising departments meet more frequently for obvious reasons,” he said.

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“In as far as who will hold which positions in the coalition structure, the agreement is clear that positions will be negotiated and as a last resort elections so anyone at this stage is free to offer themselves for any post,” he said.

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In November last year the two MDC formations signed a re-unification agreement in Harare, at a ceremony witnessed by supporters from around the country. Seventeen African diplomats, representatives of the Australian Embassy, France, Sweden, Norway, India, USA and the UK as well as 31 civil society organisations graced the occasion.

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According to the signed agreement, the re-unified party would rediscover its 1999 founding principles and values, reconnect with civil society and have the muscle to dislodge Zanu (PF) from power at the 2018 elections.

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Efforts to get a comment from the MDC (Ncube) spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube were fruitless as he was said to be in a meeting.  – Nehanda Radio