The two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions are engaged in informal reunification talks following their 2005 acrimonious split, David Coltart, the legal secretary of group led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has said.

Coltart, who emphasised that he was speaking in his personal capacity, told participants at a lecture series organised by the Students Solidarity Trust (SST) that he regretted the split and the two factions’ failure to form an electoral pact ahead of the 2008 elections.

A fortnight ago, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai – who leads the other faction — said he was not opposed to calls for the two factions to reunite ahead of elections expected next year.

The MDC split into two following differences over the party’s participation in Senate elections. Tsvangirai said the Senate was a waste of tax-payer dollars, while the MDC party in Matabeleland where the party had the highest concentration of parliamentary seats felt having ZANU PF Senators working in MDC-controlled constituencies would disrupt the party’s programmes.

Tsvangirai’s deputy Gibson Sibanda, now late, and secretary general Welshman Ncube led the break-away.

Coltart, who stuck with his colleagues from Matabeleland, said strong leadership would be needed if the two groups were to reconcile after 2008 talks aimed at re-unification collapsed.

He said a united front was necessary to help complete Zimbabwe’s transition to democracy.

(Source)