MDC-Renewal leader Tendai Biti yesterday publicly apologised to MDC president Welshman Ncube and members of his party for the personal abuse he heaped on them after the 2005 MDC split.
Biti apologised in Harare during his speech at the signing ceremony of the reunification agreement of the MDC factions to form the Democratic Union.
Biti said the split in 2005 left them devastated to the extent that they resorted to personal attacks on Ncube and his colleagues who left the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
“Time answers all questions and at the time they (Ncube and company) left we did not know, neither had we recognised the growing dictatorial tendencies,” he said.
“We want to say we are sorry for what we said then.”
Biti said at the time they labelled Ncube and the MDC as sellouts and Zanu PF members. He said MDC-T’s losses in elections started exposing some of the party’s leaders’ undemocratic tendencies, as they started mimicking Zanu PF.
Ncube, in his speech, said the opposition in seeking to simplify its narrative about the working class, lost its agenda and ended up with the “Mugabe must go” mantra.
“(President Robert) Mugabe wants us to talk about his removal so that he can attack us as stooges of imperialism,” he said.
“We have to start on a different narrative that takes us to the origins of our struggle.”
Ncube said the reunified party should speak of economic reforms as the number of unemployed people has increased from its 1999 levels, when the MDC was formed.
He said the party should put forward a social agenda that looks at improving health services, education and social services.
“The things we stand for are timeless, enduring, only our resolve may be tested, but the correctness of our cause cannot be disputed,” Ncube said.
The new party will be co-led by Ncube and Renewal interim president Sekai Holland until its inaugural elective congress tentatively slated for August 2015.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by diplomats from 17 African countries, 31 civil society organisations and diplomats from India, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Norway, Australia and the US.