UNITED Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC) leaders yesterday effectively shut doors on uniting with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai describing him as a monster and “an idiot who wasted their time”.
Addressing a joint rally at Stanley Square, Makokoba, in Bulawayo, leaders from the MDC and MDC-Renewal team took turns to express their unwillingness to partner with Tsvangirai.
They disclosed that they were in talks with other progressive political parties such as Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Zapu and Puma, but not with MDC-T.
MDC president Welshman Ncube said in the formative stages of the original MDC in 1999, they were warned by MDC-Renewal team interim leader Sekai Holland against picking Tsvangirai, but that warning was brushed aside.
“Holland warned us in Avondale (Harare) against Tsvangirai when we were searching for a leader,” said Ncube. “The late Gibson Sibanda and Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and about other 15 members attended that meeting. At the time we knew Tsvangiari as National Constitutional Assembly leader and doing a great job.
“However, only one person, Holland, objected to Tsvangirai’s nomination and told us that one day we would regret it and ask her about it, and it happened.”
MDC-Renewal national chairman Samual Sipepa Nkomo said Tsvangarai gradually developed into a monster, adding MDC-T had ingrained traits of violence which were against principles of democracy.
“We are engaged in talks with all other progressive forces, but not with that party that we have left,” he said.
“That party knows violence and cannot be part of progressive and democratic forces.”
MDC-Renewal team secretary-general Tendai Biti had unkind words for Tsvangirai and described him as an “idiot” who wasted their time.
“The UMDC was the missing link in Zimbabwean politics and it’s an umbrella,” he said.
“We spent years with that man (Tsvangirai) and nothing came out of it. He is an idiot and he wasted our time.”
Elton Mangoma, the deputy treasurer of the MDC-Renewal team weighed in saying uniting with Tsvangirai was difficult because “he believes he is the anointed leader of opposition parties”.
“We have a problem with such personalities,” he said. “We are running away from the big man politics mentality. We cannot allow that. The intention to work with other people is there and it is very clear.”
MDC and MDC-Renewal signed a unification agreement and are now operating under the banner of UMDC.
According to the reunification roadmap, the two formations were expected to submit lists of their respective structures to the national standing committee by last Saturday, although it remains unclear whether that deadline was met.
A policy conference is earmarked for April to receive and adopt the reunification progress report and adopt the united party’s draft constitution.