Wednesday 1 November 2017


FORMER Cabinet minister and newly-installed spokesperson of the MDC Alliance — Welshman Ncube has hinted that some principals within the coalition want a name change to their pact — although he does not share the idea which he said is problematic.

Ncube, who leads the smaller MDC, is part to the Alliance which was launched in Harare on August 5 as part of preparations for next year’s elections which the opposition is likely to contest a single bloc.

“Working with other parties, you need a basic minimum not to have hostility to any of those that you will work with.

“So I find it problematic that there could be one who does not want to be associated with MDC but wants to be in a coalition alliance with the MDC component by another name,’ Ncube told the media here.

“Surely it must mean you are hostile to what the MDC stands for if you are so offended by the name, not to want to work within that alliance.

“I am saying this purely from an analytical point of view without suggesting that the MDC Alliance has not been open to an alliance which will use another name. We have remained open to persuasion within the Alliance. That it will be enhanced and better off if it uses that brand name,” added Ncube.

“For your own information, we have in fact received a paper within the coalition structures that this issue be debated. It will be debated and a decision will be made either to stick with the name or for something else. Definitely, we have not closed the debate. These are the issues for consideration.

“Whether you are in politics or any other forms of marketing you have to develop a brand. You need name recognition. There is no doubt that over the last decade and a half or more, the MDC as a brand, has at the very least in spite of other issues we might have, name recognition.

“If someone can establish to our satisfaction that we can adopt another brand which we can grow quick enough, to fight the elections basically in less than six months, so be it. That’s the debate we need to have and those who think that another name would be better, need to persuade us on that name,” Ncube told the media.

Tsvangirai formed an MDC Alliance in August which includes his former two cadres Ncube and Tendai Biti —  as well as five other fringe parties —  as part of preparations for the formation of a grand coalition which is expected to contest Mugabe and Zanu PF in next year’s much-awaited elections.

Meanwhile, Ncube told the media that there should not be discussion about Tsvangirai retiring from politics due to his ill health.

Ncube said the MDC Alliance was not perturbed by growing calls for the former dogged labour union leader to pave way for someone to lead the opposition in next year’s elections.

“Within the Alliance we are very clear that we decided that our Alliance candidate shall be Morgan Tsvangirai and that as an Alliance we shall do everything to campaign for him as an Alliance candidate, to campaign collectively for all other Alliance candidates.

“As an Alliance we remain very focused, that historically in terms of support base, in terms of experience, president Tsvangirai remains our best foot forward. There is no doubt and we will campaign for him without hesitation, without qualification, unconditional and will not in such a debate,” said Ncube.

“Zanu PF should be the one focused on succession because they have a president who has been in power for over 30 years.

“As for us, we are trying to get our candidate to be elected State president how can we try to have him be succeeded before he has been elected, it’s not logical, it does not make any sense.

“Let’s all rally behind him. Let’s all have him elected as president, if he fails in his first term as president maybe that’s when we can start thinking of a successor,” added Ncube.
Since June last year, questions about Tsvangirai’s health have dominated political discussions in Zimbabwe.

That was when he stunned the public when he revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer of the colony and that he was receiving treatment in neighbouring South Africa.
The former prime minister in the inclusive government was rushed to Johannesburg in September after he fell ill during a meeting of the MDC Alliance principles.
On Wednesday he went to South Africa, again, for what his spokesman said a ‘routine’ medical check-up.

Recently, MDC lawmaker Eddie Cross said in a post that the former trade unionist was suffering from an aggressive form of colon cancer which could spread.

“He has been struggling with his treatment and the family is concerned that he might not handle the election and subsequently the responsibility of being president of a country in a deep crisis,” said Cross.

“After a lifetime of principled struggle, to have it all threatened by a disease in your body, is not fair . . . Life can be a bastard at times.”

Tsvangirai’s deputy Thokozani Khupe, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and lost one of her breasts, urged people to pray for her boss.

“I am appealing to all of you here to put president ...Tsvangirai in your prayers because he is one of those who is suffering from cancer.

“I am sure you have heard that in the past few weeks he was not well. So I am saying please let’s remember him in our prayers because I know that through prayer nothing is impossible,” Khupe told a gathering commemorating the cancer month in Bulawayo last month. Daily News



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