THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has abandoned a planned pact with other “smaller democratic forces” reportedly because this does not add value to it.
With the Coalition of Democrats (Code) document set to be signed today, the PDP, led by former Finance minister Tendai Biti, will only be sending a delegation for “moral support”.
Party secretary-general Godern Moyo confirmed his party would not be signing the document Biti vigorously campaigned for in the past year. Moyo claimed his party still needed to consult its general council.
“We are fully committed to the principle of coalitions and participated in the drafting of the Code document. We fully subscribe to its values, principles and objectives. However, our constitution demands that we defer to the general council of the party before we can enter into a pact of that magnitude. That is why we are not signing for now,” he said .
But top PDP sources said Biti had actually been forced to seek a coalition with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) — opposition parties deemed more credible.
“[A] majority of the party leadership in the management committee have said we must not sign because this Code thing does not add value to our party. They are saying if we are to sign a coalition, it should be with Mujuru or Tsvangirai, but the president (Biti) wants to sign. These are briefcase parties and once we sign, the other bigger parties might not take us seriously,” a senior party source said on condition of anonymity.
But Moyo rejected the claims of infighting over the coalition issue within PDP.
“Any suggestion of disagreements on Code is fictitious. If by disagreement you mean robust debate, then your conception of disagreement is erroneous. All decisions in the PDP are subjected to scrutiny by the relevant organs of the party,” he said .
“We applaud Code as the beginning of the build up towards that grand coalition, where PDP, ZimPF, MDC-T and Zapu will also be there.”
The MDC, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Zunde, Dare, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and the NCA are expected to append their signatures to the document today. newsday