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Tsvangirai, Mujuru to divorce?

by Staff reporter
29 Jun 2017 at 08:12hrs | Views
THE much-anticipated union between MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and National People Party's (NPP) Joice Mujuru has hit turbulent waters after both parties reportedly failed to agree on the distribution of constituencies and positions, prompting them to pursue different electoral pacts ahead of next year's polls.

Mujuru, whose application to join Coalition of Democrats (Code) was approved yesterday following a meeting of secretary-generals of parties signatory to the agreement, was tipped to become the face of that alliance.

In turn, MDC-T was earmarked to sign other memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with three other parties this week or early next week.

Contacted for comment, Mujuru's spokesperson Gift Nyandoro said he was in a meeting, while Tsvangirai's spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said an announcement would be made "in due course".

"If indeed there are such developments, then you will know in due course. As things stand, it's all still speculation," Tamborinyoka said.

Code chairperson and Zimbabwe First party leader Maxwell Shumba confirmed to NewsDay that Mujuru would officially join them tomorrow.

Shumba said Code was not interested in the MoU Mujuru signed with Tsvangirai.

"She will be with Code and that leaves Morgan to deal will the MoU since it is a personal matter which has nothing to do with the real struggle the people of Zimbabwe are facing," he said.

"That MoU is not a driver to our roadmap towards an all-stakeholder convergence and towards a build-up to a mass opposition movement that will bring together all opposition forces currently fighting for a better Zimbabwe."

Sources close to both parties said they failed to agree on the distribution of constituencies.

"Within Mujuru's party, there are many leaders that have a low opinion of Tsvangirai and they were not comfortable about working with him considering that he is insisting that he leads the coalition. These include Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and Dzikamai Mavhaire, among others. They have actually forced Mujuru to dump the coalition," a source said.

"After all, Mujuru was set to contest constituencies in Mashonaland, where the MDC-T has failed to penetrate.
Chances for Mujuru to win those constituencies are also slim, hence, the idea of seeking another pact, where she will lead and dictate who gets what."

The source added Mujuru was also not ready to play second fiddle to Tsvangirai, hence, the failure to compromise.

From the MDC-T side, there were others who were resistant to fully engage Mujuru, claiming her party was infiltrated and might fail to draw the huge numbers as expected.

"Look, NPP is now making many demands and we feel we cannot give in, considering that she is not as popular as we thought," a source in MDC-T said.

"Other parties are agreeable to getting about 10 constituencies in the coalition. She wants out and we are not worried because we are continuing with negotiations with other credible parties."

Differing views were coming out of the country's opposition ranks following a high-level meeting in Masvingo at the weekend attended by party presidents and secretary-generals from Code and the National Electoral Reform Agenda.

Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe leader Elton Mangoma, who according to sources funded the meeting, was optimistic that a coalition would be achieved.

"It was the first workshop on a coalition and I believe substantial progress was made. We agreed on some things and parked others for future discussion," he said.

"It is important that we continue to place the plight of citizens at the forefront of whatever we do."

Highly-placed sources told NewsDay that there was heckling and jostling to fund the programme as a means to control proceedings.

But MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora was not so enthusiastic.

"There is nothing much that came out of that meeting. We will get a briefing on the issue from our deputy national chairman (Morgen Komichi), who attended on our behalf," he said.

"But from the little information I have, there is really nothing to write home about. The MDC-T will come up with a position after our national standing committee today (yesterday)."

The convener of the meeting, Zimbabwe United for Democracy (Zunde) leader Farai Mbira, said he did no hear anything about funding issues.

"These were just general consultations between opposition parties. There is no position to talk about," he said.

The meeting was also attended by, among others, Mujuru and People's Democratic Party represented by vice-president Kucaca Phulu and secretary-general Gorden Moyo.

Source - newsday