Poll reforms: Ncube blames Tsvangirai

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Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube

MDC president Welshman Ncube has blamed rival MDC -T for lack of electoral reforms, saying they frustrated his party’s efforts to lobby President Robert Mugabe during the tenure of the inclusive government.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Ncube said his party raised the red flag on lack of institutional and electoral reforms but the MDC -T was more concerned with ensuring that he never became a principal.

Arthur Mutambara
Arthur Mutambara

The MDC leader was barred from attending meetings of principals attended by Mugabe, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and then Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

At the time Mutambara was battling for control of the MDC with the law professor and he received the backing of Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

“Some critics may not concur with me, but I was one of the few political leaders in the inclusive government who perpetually raised the red flag on the paralysis of electoral reform and implementation,” Ncube wrote in his Friday weekly commentary.

“At that time, those that ‘drank tea’ with President Mugabe, and acknowledged Arthur Mutambara as ‘more principal than Welshman Ncube, made it difficult for us to inject traction into the electoral reform agenda.”

He added: “This is why today, as we move closer not only to the June by-elections, but also to the 2018 elections, there is still a pervasive paralysis in electoral reform implementation.”

The MDC’s are not participating in the June 10 by-elections countrywide citing lack of electoral reforms to guarantee free and fair polls. Tsvangirai last week urged voters in Tsholotsho North to spoil ballots to protest lack of electoral reforms.

Ncube said the MDC-T went out of its way to ensure that his party had no role in the inclusive government, which provided democratic forces a platform to push for reforms.

“Mind you, throughout my party’s tenure in the inclusive government we argued vehemently for institutional reform, at times remonstrating outside the ring because some opposition leaders went out of their way to exclude us from the ‘circle of power.’

“On numerous occasions comrades in the struggle, who felt that their own arguments had better traction to influence political dynamics in the government than us were consistent in excluding and marginalising us in key inclusive government decision-making processes,” he said.

“Thus, when time for elections came, we were left exposed by legitimising a process whose stealthy behaviour evaded our scrutiny.”

However, MDC T spokesperson Obert Gutu dismissed Ncube as a “little” politician with an inflated ego and said he would not waste time responding to his allegations.

“We are busy working on ensuring that electoral, political and media reforms are implemented to enable the holding of free and fair elections in the country,” he said.

“We will definitely not waste our precious time commenting on the utterances of some little politician with an inflated ego.

“We will continue to exert maximum political, legal and diplomatic pressure on Robert Mugabe and his gang until we achieve the desired reforms.”

Ncube said the failure of the opposition political parties “presents obstacles in tackling Zanu PF obstinacy as a united front, because some leaders consider themselves more equal than others”.