The Welshman Ncube-led MDC and the Renewal Team will on Wednesday officially sign a unity accord to become one political party and start preparing for a joint congress, The Standard has learnt.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Spokespersons of the two MDC formations, Nhlanhla Dube and Jacob Mafume, confirmed the development in separate telephone interviews.
They said congress would adopt a new name and colours for the new party as it rebrands to contest the 2018 elections.
The parties have been holding talks led by their respective secretary-generals Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Tendai Biti since the beginning of October. The discussions were centred on the amalgamation of the two political entities into one party.
“It’s true that we will sign an accord to give effect to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)that was signed by the two parties in October on forming a united MDC party,” Dube said.
“The signing of this document will give us a roadmap on what needs to be done and when, including issues of policy audit, amalgamation of structures and other processes leading to a congress that will elect leadership of the united party.”
Mafume concurred: “We will be signing a MoU that shows our commitment to uniting the parties and [which will] give us a roadmap on the processes leading to the joint congress.
“In the meantime, before the congress each party will retain its identity as we implement the roadmap. We will only dissolve ourselves at the congress and immediately assume the new identity.”
The new party will be a regrouping of formations that all came out of the original MDC that was led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
The party will become the first proper unification between opposition parties after the dismal performance in the 2013 general elections in which Zanu PF won resoundingly amid rigging claims.
Mafume said the “reunification will strengthen the party and increase our membership”.
“This is based on the founding principle of the MDC,” he said.
The development will further isolate MDC-T which last year formed a loose broad alliance with Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Zanu Ndonga and Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu. The alliance, however, collapsed soon after the 2013 elections with each party going back to their little political spaces.
Political analysts have for long said that the country needs one big viable opposition party than a multiplicity of small parties that have a negative effect on the fight to dislodge Zanu PF from power.
Ncube’s group differed with Tsvangirai over the participation of the then MDC in the 2005 senatorial elections. Tsvangirai overruled the decision by the MDC’s national council to participate in the senatorial elections resulting in the party splitting.
Tsvangirai’s MDC further split in April after the party’s national council voted to suspend Tsvangirai and six other party executives for fanning violence and abusing power.
His party has twice failed to recall 18 MPs and Senators including Biti from Parliament and will go the Constitutional Court route to achieve the objective.