THE MDC formations which splintered from the mainstream party led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are set to seal their re-unification deal in Harare on Wednesday.
The Welshman Ncube-led MDC party ditched Tsvangirai in 2005, accusing him of refusing to lead by committee and unleashing violence against senior party officials who dared oppose his dictums.
Ncube was secretary general when he led a group of disgruntled top leaders away from a party that was formed in 1999 and immediately grew to present President Robert Mugabe with the biggest challenge yet to his stranglehold on power.
Tendai Biti, who took over from Ncube as secretary general, would – nine years later – tread the path beaten by his predecessor and for pretty much the same laments.
The former finance minister and several disgruntled top officials walked away following the MDC-T’s disastrous showing in last year’s elections and the violent reaction by some Tsvangirai supporters to suggestions that the former trade unionist should consider stepping down to allow a new leader to take over.
The Biti and Ncube groups have been holding reunification talks as part of efforts to form a grand opposition coalition to challenge Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in the 2018 elections.
A spokesman for Biti’s MDC Renewal Team said the reunification deal would be sealed in Harare on Wednesday.
“The MDC and the MDC Renewal Team will on Wednesday hold a reunification ceremony at a colourful event to be held at the Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare,” said Jacob Mafume in a statement on Monday.
“The signing ceremony comes after a series of meetings held by the MDC Secretary General, Hon. Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga and his counterpart from the MDC Renewal Team, Hon. Tendai Biti.
“The reunification is in line with the parties’ resolutions of the Mandel declaration of 26 April 2014 which called on the leadership to initiate dialogue with other political players and progressive forces in Zimbabwe.
“The MDC Renewal Team is convinced that resolving Zimbabwe’s multi-faceted crises will require all democratic forces to work together and is therefore committed to the idea of a grand coalition that will deliver a democratic transition to Zimbabwe.
“This signing ceremony is the beginning of a comprehensive process and will be part of building such a coalition and more signing ceremonies are expected as the MDC Renewal Team continues to talk with other political parties.”