Each party for itself in Zimbabwe 2011 election – Cde Welshman Ncube

Bulawayo, – Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-M) faction led by Arthur Mutambara said his party will not join hands with anyone in the 2011 election.\r\n

Ncube said rallying behind Simba Makoni during 2008 presidential elections was a "big mistake".

In the past recent months there have been reports of MDC-M and Dumiso Dabengwa’s revived ZAPU forming a united coalition to enter elections.

However speaking to journalists in Bulawayo during the weekend, Ncube who is reportedly eyeing MDC-M’s presidency said his party is not going to enter into a coalition with any party.

“We are not going to support anyone other than ourselves. Supporting Simba Makoni in presidential elections was a big mistake. Come elections next year we are fielding our own candidate, will not support anyone,” said Ncube.

Ncube also said his party leadership held a post term after 2008 elections and resolved not to support any external candidate.

Ncube’s sentiments came at a time when the MDC- M has experienced group resignations by disgruntled members exasperated by the leadership wrangles between him and party President Mutambara. Most of those who are resigning are joining the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

In the month of November alone more than 20 MDC- M Ward councillors from Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and North provinces dumped Ncube’s party and joined the mainstream MDC.

The MDC-M secretary-general, also hit out at the former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, accusing him of funding the split of the opposition party in 2005.

Ncube was reacting to accusations by Dell that he was a divisive character in the opposition movement.

In a document allegedly filed in 2007 at the US State Department’s headquarters in Washington by the then US ambassador to Zimbabwe and leaked by an international website, Wikileaks, Dell described Ncube as, “a deeply divisive and destructive player in the opposition ranks and the sooner he is pushed off the stage, the better”.

“But he is useful to many, including the regime and South Africa, so is probably a cross to be borne for some time yet,” Dell wrote in his report.

Ncube told NewsDay that he did not really understand where Dell’s accusations were emanating from.

“It is hard for me to get into the mind of Christopher Dell. All I know is that he funded the split of the MDC. He was very angry with some of us who refused to be manipulated by him,” Ncube fumed.

“How has Ncube divided the opposition? Some of us refused to use violence as a political tool. We refused that someone have dominance over collective decisions. We refused then, and, if we went back, we will still refuse. If some of you said there is a point in (Morgan) Tsvangirai overriding collective decisions, him having a militia in the party, then you call us divisive. We will wear that tag proudly. Other than that, tell us what’s divisive that we have done.”

Ncube would however not commit himself to the accusations by political analysts in Matabeleland that Dell’s statements reflected the Western government’s attitude towards the region and its leaders.

“I don’t know about that. All I know is that Christopher Dell never spoke to me throughout his tenure even though I was the secretary-general of the then united MDC. He funded the kitchen cabinet,” he said.

He was referring to a group of unelected people who wanted to make decisions that should have been made by the elected in PM Tsvangirai’s office then. “I knew that the American embassy hated those of us who stood by the founding principles of the party,” he said.

On his relationship with the incumbent Ambassador, Charles Ray, Ncube said, “I have never met or spoken to him.”