Two breakaway factions from the mainstream MDC party led by Morgan Tsvangirai are set to re-unite as they bid to form a coalition with other opposition groups in preparation for elections in 2018.
The development follows a meeting of the national executive committee of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC outfit yesterday which recommended that it commences talks to unite with another breakaway faction, Tendai Biti's MDC renewal team.
Nhlanhla Dube, the Ncube-led MDC spokesperson told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that the meeting had noted the report that had been presented by the party’s leadership proposing the merger.
Dube said the meeting had also taken note of the need to form a coalition with Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu and Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) project. "The party’s national executive committee met and gave the party the green light to pursue the issue of re-uniting with the renewal team and it gave the party guidance on how to go about it in terms of the modalities," said Dube.
The latest development follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding to allow the two parties to engage in talks for a possible merger.
The unification, observers say, is meant to come up with a relatively bigger outfit to ensure that Ncube and Biti will be able to dictate the conditions for their proposed grand coalition with Dabengwa and Makoni.
The Zapu and Mavambo leaders are said to be pushing Biti and Ncube to accept a coalition of all progressive forces including Tsvangirai.
However, Tsvangirai’s former allies are believed to be hesitant to include the former prime minister whose pulling power will see him ultimately leading the coalition.
"The issue of a grand coalition would thus involve Zapu, MKD and of course the re-united MDC if the deal goes through but that has not been concluded yet in terms of implementation," added Dube.
If the proposed grand coalition materialises, it will be a coalescence of leaders who broke away from their mainstream formations after failing to takeover power from within.
Ncube who was secretary-general of the MDC broke away in 2005 following a dispute on whether to participate in that year’s senatorial elections.
Biti who took over as secretary-general after the departure of Ncube, followed in his predecessor’s footsteps early this year after a failed attempt to unseat Tsvangirai ostensibly to give the party a new impetus.
On the other hand, both Makoni and Dabengwa are former Zanu PF stalwarts who also broke away citing among other issues, a supposed dearth of leadership in President Robert Mugabe’s party.