By Tendai Kamhungira
Opposition National People’s Party (NPP) has put up fliers around the country calling for the electorate to vote Joice Mujuru as president in next year’s elections in the clearest sign that the former Vice President is going it alone.
The 62-year-old Mujuru was President Robert Mugabe’s deputy for a decade and seen as the veteran president’s likely successor until he fired her in 2014, accusing her of leading a plot to oust him.
She launched a new party NPP in March last year to challenge her ally-turned-adversary, and has started to prepare a campaign that will see her stand as a presidential candidate in next year’s election, promising to revive the economy and repair strained relations with the West.
Mujuru issued the fliers despite signing a memorandum of agreement with Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC.
NPP spokesperson Jeffryson Chitando said people must not read much into the fliers.
“Each party has a right to place its president and this does not mean that she is not committed to the coalition or that she is to go it alone,” Chitando said.
Mujuru’s party is opposed to the MDC Alliance nomenclature and is also demanding equal representation in the allocation of seats, which has placed the Alliance talks in limbo, as time towards next year’s elections is ticking away.
Chitando claimed the party was 100 percent behind the coalition.
“We want an all-inclusive position,” he said, avoiding mentioning the actual political parties that they are engaging in this process.
He said Article 6 of the memorandum of agreement that they signed with Tsvangirai allows each of the two parties to source for other partners to form one group.
He said that they still abide by the terms of the memorandum of agreement.
On the other hand, NPP secretary-general Gift Nyandoro said that their conditions outlined in the National Executive Council (Nec) resolutions have to be met.
“That the matrix of coalition deliberations for NPP revolves around issues of set conditions by the Nec of the party is not in dispute.
“Indeed it’s true that we have communicated the party position to our colleagues and waiting to have the issue and NPP concerns resolved by the coalescing principals. It does not in any way amount to a somersault about party decision.
“In our respective view, change of position can only arise if indeed the party would have reviewed the Nec resolution and that has not happened.
“Conclusively speaking; the party’s position is guided by the Nec resolution as to what constitute NPP’s entry into a grand coalition,” Nyandoro said.