The head of the smaller formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change has ruled out joining forces in the forthcoming but as-yet-unscheduled elections with the larger wing led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Welshman Ncube said in posts on Facebook and Twitter that the differences between the two MDC branches resulting from a 2005 split were “too deep and strongly felt.
Ncube was responding to a comment posted on his Facebook page.
Hopes for a consolidated MDC electoral front were raised when the two formations cooperated early this year in the re-election of House Speaker Lovemore Moyo, a member of the Tsvangirai wing briefly unseated by a court ruling.
Spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the Ncube MDC formation told Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the party differs with Tsvangirai's formation on many issues.
But Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said his party is ready to work with any party seeking to bring about democratic rule in Zimbabwe.
Elsewhere, a June 10 court date has been set in the case of a man arrested for comments he posted on Prime Minister Tsvangirai's Facebook page.
Vikas Mavhudzi was arrested in February for posting what police said were offensive comments. He told Mr. Tsvangirai in his Facebook posting that the revolt taking place in Egypt and other Arab countries was “worth emulating” in Zimbabwe.
Analysts said the arrest of Mavhudzi, now free on bail, is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and could set an important precedent for free speech on Internet social media sites.
Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya described the arrest as political, but added that with more Zimbabweans turning to social media government monitoring should be expected.