Saturday, 26 November 2016

MUJURU OVER-RATED : MDC

Coalition talks between MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his Zimbabwe People First counterpart, Dr Joice Mujuru, are hanging by a thread as growing mistrust continues to drive the two opposition parties further apart, it has emerged.

MDC-T insiders told The Sunday Mail last week that although both parties were initially keen on a coalition, Mr Tsvangirai and his lieutenants were increasingly becoming convinced that Dr Mujuru’s outfit “will not add any value”.

The insiders said ZimPF elder and former Cabinet minister Didymus Mutasa’s recent telephone call to President Mugabe also fuelled suspicion that top officials in that party would dump the coalition and try to curry favour with Zanu-PF come national election time.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior MDC-T official said it appeared Dr Mujuru and her support base have been over-rated.

“The biggest problem in the proposed coalition is mistrust; that is the main issue, really. History has taught us that Zanu-PF has a tendency of regrouping ahead of every election, and closes ranks even with its former members.

“This is the point, say we forge that coalition, what guarantee is there that they will not return or pursue other agendas? We don’t trust them. Look at what (Norton National Assembly representative Mr Temba) Mliswa is now doing to our leader (Mr Tsvangirai, for not attending his victory celebrations). That is a crucial lesson in itself,” the official said.

An MDC-T national executive member weighed in, “There is no evidence yet that Zimbabwe People First has structures and supporters on the ground. A number of us in the party believe Mai Mujuru is over-rated and, therefore, unlikely to add anything in terms of supporters.

“If she trully was a force to reckon with, we would have at least seen a number of key personalities who were loyal to her during her stint in Zanu-PF following her. But how many left with her? Very few, some of them too old to do anything valuable. She would have to come as a junior partner if the coalition is eventually formed.”

ZimPF spokesperson Mr Jealous Mawarire was non-committal when contacted by The Sunday Mail.

“We don’t conduct our talks in Zanu-PF controlled newspapers. Our constituency who are supposed to know are aware of what is happening,” he said.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu said, “Tsvangirai is personally handling the talks and as a party, we are not under pressure at all (to form a coalition).”

In August 2016, Mr Tsvangirai and Dr Mujuru jointly addressed a demonstration and rally in Gweru, assuring supporters that a coalition was on the horizon. Sunday Mail

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