ZANU PF yesterday lashed at out at MDC and Zapu for forging an election pact describing it as a tribal alliance.
The reaction followed an announcement by the two parties on Friday that they would help each other in the run-up to the July 31 polls.
Zanu PF, which has not won a seat in Bulawayo since the turn of the millennium and performed dismally in other parts of Matabeleland, claimed it was not moved by the alliance.
“There is a tribal element with the leaders of those parties. Tribalism in Zimbabwe has never worked,” Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told Southern Eye.
“History has shown that those who use tribalism have failed, so we are not worried. To us the coalition is inconsequential.”
But Gumbo’s utterances were dismissed as foolish by MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi who said Zanu PF had a misplaced view that anything that originated from Matabeleland was tribal.
“We are not a tribal party. Some of us cannot even speak Ndebele, but we do not divide the country on tribal lines,” he said.
“The utterances by Gumbo are foolish statements from a documented sellout that was forgiven by Zanu PF.
“Why does he not talk about a pact between (MDC-T leader Morgan) Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni.
“It is a problem when a pact is formed in Matabeleland yet there is nothing wrong if it is done in Harare?”
Chihwayi said the parties would not be distracted by a “tired party and political dissidents like Gumbo”.
“We are a party with credible leadership regardless of tribe or race,” he said.
“The party is represented by people from the 12 political provinces in the country.
“It is wrong and foolish for Zanu PF to describe the pact with Zapu as a tribal one,” Chihwayi said.
“Dumiso Dabengwa is a normal and serious politician keen to take Zimbabwe forward.”
He said Zanu PF felt threatened by the pact, which he said would have an impact on the political landscape, hence its reaction.
Meanwhile, MDC leader Welshman Ncube on Friday poured cold water over hopes of a grand coalition with MDC-T saying time was running out for such an arrangement.
“When we enter this election, it is each man for himself. What you have been hearing is talk from newspapers and peddlers of lies.
“I repeat each man for himself and God for us all,” Ncube told a district assembly for Bulilima and Mangwe in Plumtree soon after announcing a pact with Zapu in Bulawayo. He said Zimbabweans were tired of being ruled by ruthless people who brought hunger and poverty to the country.
“We want to come and tell each other how we will build a new Zimbabwe and that 2013 is the last chance for another five years,” Ncube said.
“I don’t know how we will survive until 2018 if we let (President Robert) Mugabe win.
“Mugabe is finished. There is nothing he can do for his country.
“He is there for himself and his family to be enjoying life, but he no longer has solutions for this country.
“He is not there to fix your problems because he does not know what to do any more.”
Ncube said his party’s leadership was the only “Team Zimbabwe”.
“If we ask Mugabe and say stand with your people who will fix Zimbabwe, he will bring (Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus) Mutasa. Will Mutasa fix Zimbabwe today?
“Tsvangirai will bring (Giles) Mutsekwa and (Thokozani) Khupe. Do you think the future of Zimbabwe can be fixed by these people? It is lies,” he said.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka and Douglas Mwonzora were yesterday not available to comment on the prospects of a grand coalition following Friday’s developments.