Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor
MDC-T yesterday angrily reacted to the snub of its coalition call by National Constitutional Assembly leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku, telling him to concentrate on his “small, miserable and one-member band political outfit”. Mr Tsvangirai, who was addressing rallies in Binga and Hwange last week, pleaded with opposition parties to form a coalition to challenge President Mugabe and Zanu-PF in the 2018 harmonised elections.
Reacting to the call, Prof Madhuku vowed never to join hands with Mr Tsvangirai whom he dismissed as a failure, saying regime change was not an economic policy.
This riled the MDC-T.
Yesterday MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu phoned The Herald demanding a right of reply. When granted, he said: “As the MDC we obviously respect Prof Madhuku’s constitutional right to have his own political party and indeed to criticise other political leaders including our leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
“We are democrats in MDC and we do not want to muzzle any Zimbabwean’s constitutional right to freedom of expression.” He said it was improper for Prof Madhuku to label Mr Tsvangirai a failure.
“We would want to tell Madhuku that it is a fact that the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai is the largest opposition party in Zimbabwe. “It is also a fact that as the MDC we have never sought to impose ourselves as big brother to any other political party. “Our approach is the big tent approach. An approach that is accommodative and tolerant,” said Mr Gutu.
He added: “That said, we call upon Madhuku to concentrate on building his small opposition party called the NCA and even to concentrate on offering solutions to pressing national challenges in Zimbabwe. We want Madhuku to be addressing those bread and butter issues instead of attacking Morgan Tsvangirai.”
Mr Gutu sounded very agitated by Prof Madhuku’s rejection of Mr Tsvangirai’s coalition call. “Madhuku has no business insulting other opposition leaders and parties when his own party is a very small, miserable, one man band which has absolutely no chance of winning an election even in his home village in Chipinge,” he said.
Mr Tsvangirai implored other opposition parties to coalesce under his leadership saying one must not yearn to be president for the sake of it.