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Mujuru tears into Tsvangirai

By Fungi Kwaramba

Former Vice President and National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru laid into Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday, saying his July 31 deadline within which opposition parties must form a coalition was not feasible and that the MDC leader’s underlings were being overexcited.

Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru seen here in Gweru
Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru seen here in Gweru

Mujuru told the media after signing an alliance pact with Gilbert Dzikiti of the Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (Dare) at her party’s offices in Harare that although opposition parties were racing against time to consummate the coalition, there was need to be realistic with the deadlines.

She said as far as her party was concerned, no such deadline exists.

“We do not have a deadline for the coalition yet. What I am saying is that July 31 is not a practical date. It should be stressed that it is not about the date, but finding trust with each other. Unfortunately, there are some people who have a big brother attitude. Let us work together and let us not attack each other in public,” said the NPP leader.

“This mentality that only I can do this is wrong; let us self-introspect and agree on a leader who is acceptable to everyone. We know that there are some who are sending their underlings to set the agenda,” she added.

This comes as the MDC top brass has made it clear that it is either their leader, Tsvangirai, who should lead the envisaged grand coalition or no one else.

Tsvangirai and his confidantes have gone further to give a July 31 deadline for all those interested in coming on board to do so or be left behind.

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On Sunday, MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa also told a rally in his Kuwadzana constituency that those who were not comfortable with Tsvangirai leading the coalition were free not to join the so-called big tent.

“On the issue of coalition, the president is having coalition talks until the end of July, after 31 July, we will close the (coalition) gates. Those who agree with us we will walk together, we want everyone to come. Vanhu vose vanoziva munhu anga achivhima nguva yose, iwe woona mhuka yakabatwa gumbo wotora banga wocheka musoro, ndeyako? (you don’t reap what you did not sow). We walked a very long journey, we want democracy but for now it’s not good to have many political parties; we must give president Tsvangirai a chance,” said Chamisa.

Mujuru’s new found partner and Dare leader, Dzikiti, had no kind words as well for Tsvangirai and his party, which he accused of sponsoring fly-by-night political parties to strengthen his hand ahead of negotiations for the grand coalition that could take place this week.

“There is a proliferation of sponsored parties and the gathering of the so-called 10 parties that endorsed Tsvangirai over the weekend was one such thing. They are some civil society organisation that we know want to divide the opposition by sponsoring these parties,” said Dzikiti.

As she signed the alliance pact with Dzikiti, Mujuru claimed that the deal does not affect prior agreements she had with Tsvangirai or mean that the two will not be working together.

“Late last week, we signed an electoral alliance with Zimbabwe United for Democracy (Zunde) in the spirit of inclusivity; inclusivity being one of our core values as a party. It is in the same spirit and in keeping with the provisions of our MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) that today we are signing an electoral alliance agreement with Dare. It is equally in the same spirit that you may have heard that the MDC has signed other MoUs with more opposition parties and therefore should not be read to signal discord among coalition partners,” said Mujuru.

She said soon the principals involved in the coalition talks would be coming together with an official position on the grand coalition.

“The clarion call for a united coalition to guarantee change come 2018 has been heard and I can confirm our party commitment to the coming together of genuine opposition forces to deliver victory for the people of Zimbabwe,” said Mujuru.

Contacted for comment, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the MDC was not behaving like a big brother and will not discuss about the coalition in the media.

“Our trajectory on coalitions has always been made abundantly clear. We will never, ever negotiate and/or discuss coalition issues in the media or the in the public domain.

“There is something that is called quiet diplomacy. Believe you me, when you are cutting coalition deals, quiet diplomacy is more effective than megaphone diplomacy. (President Morgan) Tsvangirai is personally handling all our coalition deliberations and, to date, we are perfectly happy with the progress that has been made,” said Gutu. Daily News