MDC looks to heal rift with Madhuku

HARARE - Aiming to bolster its chances of winning the forthcoming crunch polls, the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has extended an olive branch to Lovemore Madhuku, the disgruntled leader of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

The move by the MDC comes in the wake of a scathing attack on its leadership by Madhuku — a former ally of Tsvangirai.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson told the Daily News that the MDC was keen to build bridges and urged Madhuku to bury the hatchet after his crushing defeat in the referendum.

“The MDC is calling for the unity of all progressive forces to dislodge the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe and his government, these progressive forces include political parties, civil society, progressive workers, intellectuals and the student movement,” Mwonzora said.

Madhuku fell out with Tsvangirai after the former trade unionist closed ranks with Mugabe to deny him an extension of the campaign period ahead of the referendum. Madhuku was campaigning for a “No” vote.

The law professor also says Tsvangirai subjected him to hate speech when he described him and his movement as “nhinhi” and also suggested he had “mamhepo” (evil spirits).

As a result, Madhuku, who in 2000 along with Tsvangirai successfully campaigned for a “No” vote against a Zanu PF government-sponsored draft constitution, has broken ranks with his erstwhile comrades.

The University of Zimbabwe lecturer has also attacked the leadership qualities of Tsvangirai.

However, Mwonzora said “we are perplexed by the incessant attacks by professor Madhuku on the leadership of the MDC.

“The allegations which he makes that the MDC has lost direction are without foundation,” Mwonzora said.

Political think tank the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) said in a report released last week that the MDC needs to reach out to bodies like the NCA in order to ensure an outright poll win.

“A perusal of the referendum voting numbers and patterns across the nation suggests that if the MDC works extra-hard and bans the use of violence and other electoral shenanigans by the Mugabe regime, a Zanu PF defeat could be possible,” the ZDI report says.

“If the MDC and its democratic partners regroup and unite against Zanu PF and organise massive voter registration to make sure that people who participated in the referendum are registered for the national election, their chances of electoral victory are greatly increased.”

The report said the MDC should be magnanimous and reach out to groups such as the NCA which received a 5,5 percent of the vote in the referendum.

Madhuku claims the MDC has lost direction and forgotten its founding principles.

Mwonzora parried Madhuku’s allegations that the MDC has lost touch with the ordinary persons since it joined the unity government.

“The MDC has not removed its eye from the ball at all as alleged by Madhuku,” Mwonzora said.

“We call upon Madhuku and the NCA to put aside the disappointment with the referendum results and unite with others to change the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.”

He said the MDC joined the unity government with Mugabe in order to stop the economic suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.

“We joined the government to ameliorate the amount of State-sponsored violence and murder that was the order of the day before the unity government.

“Although the scale has been reduced, the MDC through its leadership in government, is fighting hard to ensure total elimination of State-sponsored violence,” said Mwonzora.

Comments (1)

The WISEST thing Tsvangerai has done since winning the Election! At last his brain is working.

miles anderson - 2 April 2013

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