MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai reportedly told party officials in Bulawayo at the weekend that he would never forgive MDC leader Welshman Ncube for the 2005 split saying the division has cost the party dearly.
This has reportedly been Tsvangirai's 10-year secret which he only revealed to Bulawayo provincial council members for the first time last week.
The MDC split in 2005 was ignited by Tsvangirai's refusal to respect a party resolution to participate in senatorial elections.
According to sources, Tsvangirai reportedly told the MDC-T Bulawayo provincial council members in a closed-door meeting that he regretted the split, which he blamed on Ncube.
Repeated attempts to unite the two MDC formations have failed and analysts and party members have blamed this on Ncube and Tsvangirai's personal differences.
"Tsvangrai said he once dispatched a secret team to Matabeleland before 2005 to find out what people thought about the MDC. He said in one report, an old man from Plumtree said he supported the MDC because he saw a future president of this country coming from this region because the top hierarchy was mainly composed of people from this region (Matabeleland)," the source said.
"Tsvangirai said the report by this team showed that the party had a huge following because of the composition of the top hierarchy and the split by Ncube was, therefore, a betrayal of the MDC, a betrayal of the many people that supported the MDC in Matabeleland and was not forgivable."
Before the split, the MDC hierarchy comprised Tsvangirai as leader, the late Gibson Sibanda (vice-president), Ncube (secretary-general), Fletcher Dulini Ncube (treasurer-general) and Paul Themba Nyathi as national spokesperson.
According to provincial council members, Tsvangirai said he was revealing this information to them for the first time to encourage unity among party members despite differences.
At the memorial service of Sibanda, Tsvangirai also expressed regret for the 2005 split and described it as the saddest thing in his life. An analysis of the 2008 harmonised elections shows that the MDC would have landed the presidency if it had been united.
Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential ballot to Tsvangirai. Mugabe got 43,2% of the vote while Tsvangirai garnered 47,9%. Simba Makoni, who was backed by the MDC formation led by Ncube, secured 8,3%.
Tsvangirai later pulled out of the run-off accusing Mugabe of brutalising his supporters leaving the Zanu PF leader to claim a second round vote of 85,5% in a one horse race.