Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation leader Professor Welshman Ncube says opposition forces must forge a formidable alliance that will dislodge Zanu PF from power in the 2018 general elections.
But Ncube says his party cannot be involved in a coalition with the MDC wing led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai due to the bitter rivalry between the two parties.
“A coalition of democratic forces in my view and experience cannot include political parties that are in antagonistic contradictions,” Ncube told VOA Studio 7.
“Put bluntly, the party that I lead has antagonistic contradictions with the MDC-T as a party and therefore, would have considerable difficulties having a coalition with a party with which we are in antagonistic contradiction.”
Previous efforts to reunite Ncube and Tsvangirai have failed due to what some analysts say are deep-stead personality differences between the two former allies.
Minus the MDC-T, Ncube says his party remains open to coalition talks with other democratic movements, including Zapu, Mavambo, the National Constitutional Assembly and the MDC Renewal Team.
Reunification talks between the Ncube MDC and the MDC Renewal, which broke away from the mainstream MDC-T last year, were suspended recently over leadership wrangling in the Renewal Team.
But Ncube says he remains hopeful “that all democratic forces still desire to work together in the process of finding a solution to the challenges that we have.”
“We hope that all the parties who are democratic and subscribe to democratic values as we do, at some point, before 2018 will realize the imperative and importance of a collective approach to the finding of solutions to the country’s problems,” he added.
MDC-T deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo maintained that her party wants a coalition with anyone interested in removing Zanu PF from office – including the Ncube MDC.
“The problem that we are facing as Zimbabweans is not ourselves; it is Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe,” Khumalo said.
“Our goal is to remove Zanu PF from power. So the issue that we are antagonistic is frivolous because as far as we are concerned, we are all fighting tor the same cause.”
Both the Ncube MDC and the MDC-T are boycotting the June 10 by-elections, demanding broad political and electoral reforms to prevent electoral fraud and ensure fairness.