MDC-T alliance plans stall over power-sharing dispute

THE MDC-T’s plan to form alliances with other political parties, especially the MDC, are stalling over power-sharing mechanisms in the event of an electoral victory, with senior members from both sides fearing they may lose out on influential posts in the new government, close sources have said.

Paidamoyo Muzulu

The two parties have enjoyed a love-hate relationship since their acrimonious split in October 2005 over participation in senate elections. Their failure to form an alliance in the 2008 general elections saved President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from humiliating defeat.

Some 28 political parties have registered with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to contest the forthcoming general elections. This comes as civil society organisations like the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute and Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe have been calling for all progressive democratic parties to work together during the coming general elections.

The MDC-T’s alliance proposal, among other things, is said to have suggested the party would not field candidates against senior MDC leaders during the polls. It was also suggested that others would benefit from seats under proportional representation in the National Assembly, senate and provincial councils proposed in the new constitution.

The sources say informal negotiations between the MDC formations have been ongoing behind the scenes but big egos and deep-seated personal differences were stalling progress.

“The MDC-T has made overtures but the response so far has been lukewarm as the proposal was not detailed on power-sharing like in the pre-2008 election deal that fell through,” a source said.

“The MDC-T sent a vague proposal that did not attend to issues around power-sharing which some feel is another walk down the garden path.”
Reached for comment, MDC leader Welshman Ncube was non-committal on whether there are any talks between the parties.

“I have heard of the same but we are yet to see any formal proposal and I don’t like commenting on hypothetical questions,” Ncube said.
Some politicians from the Matabeleland regions are said to be uneasy with the alliance talk since it is assumed that the MDC is strong in that region.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora could not confirm the talks but said “we are ready to work with all progress forces for change in Zimbabwe”.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold general elections later this year after expiry of parliament’s life on June 29. However, parliament is yet to pass amendments to harmonise the laws to the new constitution to pave way for elections.

 

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