The leaders of the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara were ready to reunite the two factions as early as November 2006 but hardliners from the two factions “passionately” resisted the move.
The parties officially split in February 2006 when they elected new leaders with Mutambara taking over the pro-Senate faction though he himself was anti-Senate.
According to Tendai Biti, who had been elevated to secretary-general of the Tsvangirai faction following the departure of Welshman Ncube, Mutambara had met the anti-Senate faction several times, and even had a one-on-one with Tsvangirai, to discuss the merging of the two factions.
Biti said he himself and deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma were for the merger, but people like Lucia Matibenga, the women’s caucus leader in the party, and Elias Mudzuri, the national organizing secretary, were against the move.
In the Mutambara faction, those strongly against were Welshman Ncube who was the driving force behind the split and his deputy Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
The merger did not take place with the two factions contesting the 2008 elections separately though Mutambara opted not to contest for president preferring to back independent candidate Simba Makoni.
The faction won 10 seats in the 2008 elections but lost them in 2013.
Ncube took over leadership of the party in 2011 and has been at the helm since.
He has, however, signed a memorandum of understanding with Tsvangirai to form a coalition ahead of next year’s elections.
He and leaders of five other parties recently joined Tsvangirai at the launch of the MDC Alliance.
Below are the first 320 of 726 Wikileaks cables on Tsvangirai.
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