Mujuru charms Biti, Tsvangirai

HARARE - Former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who hit the campaign trail a fortnight ago spreading the message of opposition unity, has charmed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) head honcho, Tendai Biti — both of whom reiterate that they are more than ready to work with her.

At the same time, Biti also told the Daily News in an interview at the weekend that his fallout with Tsvangirai is now a thing of the past — a clear indication that the long-mooted opposition coalition meant to tackle President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF head-on in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections is finally and truly beginning to take shape.

With the country’s economy in dire straits as Mugabe and Zanu PF show no signs of having the ideas and capacity to effect positive changes, Mujuru said on Saturday that the only way for Zimbabwe to claw its way out of its current challenges was for the opposition to work together to kick Zanu PF out of power, while at the same time re-engaging with the international community.

Reacting to the call yesterday, PDP international relations secretary, William Madzimure, described Mujuru as “a fountain of hope to long-suffering Zimbabweans”, while the party’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume rubber-stamped her exhortation that the opposition works together to remove Mugabe from power.

The PDP had a strong contingent of its senior officials present at Mujuru’s maiden rally in the capital on Saturday, where they delivered solidarity messages.

“We went there in solidarity with People First and we all need to work together as opposition parties,” Mafume said.

In his earlier interview with the Daily News, Biti made it clear that his differences with Tsvangirai were now a thing of the past, and that they now needed to work together in the interest of the country.

“We are beyond that now (grudges). Yes we had our big issues in the past ... about values and principles where we differed, but where we are now we have to engage with everyone.

“So, I am ready to engage with Morgan Tsvangirai just like I am ready to engage with Joice Mujuru because that’s what people are expecting and I am going to do it if it means that we achieve change in 2018,” he said.

Biti said a broad alliance made up of all the opposition parties was the only chance of “liquidating” Zanu PF in 2018, insisting that the question of who should lead it, should not be the main topic at the moment.

“The question of who will lead is a separate debate. Let the best man or woman lead. Let the best man or woman be our face in 2018. The biggest challenge right now is how to get all of us in one room,” the former Finance minister in the government of national unity said.

“That’s the miracle we are praying to God for – to get all of us in one room, agree on a framework ... The person who is going to lead and be our presidential candidate is the least of our challenges. Our real challenge is getting together and form the framework of a broad front that will take the fight to Zanu PF in 2018,” he added.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said Mujuru’s call for all opposition parties to unite was “good news for the country”.

“President Tsvangirai has always said that there is need for all opposition parties to unite. However, there is need to start working on electoral reforms. We signed the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and we need to make sure that we achieve what we agreed as opposition parties.

“We agree with her (Mujuru) on the issue of unity. People are suffering … Tsvangirai has always said that Zanu PF can rig elections but cannot rig the economy. They don’t have any solution to take this country forward and that’s why we say there is need for opposition parties to unite,” he said.

Amid growing calls from analysts that all opposition parties should form a grand coalition ahead of the 2018 elections, there has also been a strong sentiment that Mujuru, who was Mugabe’s deputy for 10 years, could provide the much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the smooth transfer of power if they win elections again as the MDC did in 2008.

Recently, a respected South Africa-based think tank said the so-called Coalition of Democrats (Code) signed by five small opposition parties needed to include heavyweights like Tsvangirai and Mujuru for it to have a chance of success.

The five opposition parties which signed Code include Simba Makoni’s Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD), Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Zimbabwe United for Democracy, and the Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (Dare).

However, in its analysis, NKC African Economics (NKC), said Code needed to attract Tsvangirai’s MDC, Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (Zim PF) and the PDP if it was to provide a meaningful challenge to Zanu PF.

“The formation of Code is an important development in Zimbabwe party politics, but the new formation has some way to go yet before it poses a realistic challenge to Zanu PF and … Mugabe. Important to its prospects would be the inclusion of the major opposition groupings such as MDC and Zim PF, in particular.

“Without at least one of these, the chances of success come 2018 will fall away. Preferably, the coalition needs both. What the development does suggest…is that the fundamentals in Zimbabwe’s political environment are shifting and the once invincible Zanu PF is shedding support at a potentially fatal rate,” NKC said.

“Mujuru,… would bring military backing and widespread support to the table ... Egos and claims on overall leadership will be key issues. It would also be a consideration for parties such as ZPF whether their interests would be best served by joining,” NKC said.

However, Mujuru — who has so far held two successful rallies, in Harare at the weekend and Bulawayo two weeks ago — is viewed with some suspicion by some sections of the pro-democracy movement because of her 42-year relationship with Mugabe and Zanu PF.

But the widow of the late decorated liberation struggle icon, General Solomon Mujuru, has gone out of her way over the past few weeks to dismiss suggestions that she is in any way still connected to Zanu PF, or that she might one day rejoin the former liberation movement.

Biti told the Daily News that where Zimbabwe was at the moment, everyone within the opposition ranks was required “to seize the opportunity” of giving Mugabe’s party the boot.

“Even Kisinoti Mukwazhi should be there, even Egypt Dzinomunenzva should be there. We have to liquidate Zanu PF in 2018, go through a national transitional phase and then live to fight each other in a democratic Zimbabwe. That’s the basic challenge of the day,” he said.

Comments (29)

There we go again. Mujuru is a ZANU (PF) reject and is not to be trusted. Kunewe Biti naTsvangirai kwamurikuita uku ndookunonzi kukanganwa chazuro nehope. Her hands are full of blood, she looted the Chiadzwa diamonds, she looted the war victims compensation fund, she worked overtime kuti Econet Wireless isawane operating license. She is evil. She rightly belongs to the political dustbin and we do not want her anywhere near the country's political leadership.

Ray Phiri - 27 June 2016

zvekuti amai vakambotadza vari kuzanupf zvapinda papi. kana iwe usati wambotadza tora dombo uavatake toziva kuti uri mutsvene nokusingaperi. the past is not a place of residence but a place of reference, wake up mguys

nyangani - 27 June 2016

hokoyo

tk - 27 June 2016

a demon evicted from the devil's kingdom doesn't become an angel again! neva!

SaManyika Chaiye - 27 June 2016

The one thing that worries ZANU PF most ,is a coalition of opposition democratic parties.ZANU PF will therefore do everything in their power,including sponsoring agents to write/contribute every imaginable negative thing about the coalition and /or its parts e.g. MBC splits,Mujuru's ZANU PF past links,etc,in order to de-rail this excellent initiative.GRAND COALITION 2018 IS THE ANSWER!

Chikata - 27 June 2016

Mai mujuru yo enermy is g40,.zanu yapinda papi.yu were kicked out by Johnso n 1st lady.dont duck this one.otherwise yu still scared of 1st lady.Now yu are out of zanu ,yu can respond to her all she said on her rallies.dont duck.Are ms 10pc.?Point yo guns to those that directly kicked yu out I.e J.Moyo n 1st Lady.

viola gwena - 27 June 2016

It worries me that it took Mujuru so long to see mistakes in Zanu pf. It is a lie, becoz her bread is no longer buttered there? Mujuru is like poison coated with chocolate.

kakale - 27 June 2016

What about setting aside stories from this old Zanu-PF baobab tree and focussing on how the demise of the EU ids going to affect us Zimbabweans - post Mugabe time , of course. The EU is going to die soon. Only fools believe what Merkel or Hollande is saying. The situation on the ground is totally different. For those expecting aid from the EU ( Mugabe included) you better forget. Those who pay tax in EU donor countries are saying enough is enough. Borders are going to be re-erected shortly. For Mugabe, if you were clever, its time to close your beak and chat with those with money to come to Zim for real business. I know you live in the world of yesterday so you think my idea is for regime change.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 27 June 2016

@Masamba; the politics of the EU is intresting indeed but that part of the world may continue without much suffering even if the EU dies. its effects on zim remain speculative because many theories are going to come up; or are already coming up, from the number 1 billboard chat titled sanctions to all sorts of mega deals signed with russia. we will be able to see if eu sanction are going to be lifted since the spat was betwin rhobhati & britain. we are going to see if mega deals are going to materialise becoz the evil brother in eu who might having been precluding the likes of russia has walked out. it remain to be seen if anything positive will come up from this high profile divorce!

SaManyika Chaiye - 27 June 2016

lets all work together for the better of our country regardless of our past....

chipo - 27 June 2016

Coalitions only in parliament during deliberations. Each political for itself. We want more political shops to choose from. Coalitions for just the sake of: are a recipe for gravy bloated Gvt set ups, with accountability close to zero. During GNU there was too much finger pointing and blame games. A winner takes all is a good situation, then evaluation makes it easy.

X-MAN IV - 27 June 2016

we have been waiting for dis .its time

chivo - 27 June 2016

@SaManyika Chaiye. Of course I am talking of the time when the dead log is buried at heroes acre. Never mind what Marujata said: that the the ghost is going to run Zimbabwe from a grave prepared for him on this little hill nera Warren Park. Ndiri kureva Marujata wemhino dzinenge dzedhongi dzinofemba hwema husipo. How dare she pronounced to us Zimbabweans that after destroying our country her husband will continue racking havoc on us and our children from a tomb on the hills ? Kana mhunu akadarikidza zera achiweta ano ngofunga kuti pese pese pana ani naani anokwanisa kungoweta.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 27 June 2016

The civilised approach adopted by ZimPF is value and principle based.hence refreshingly powerful.Insults are not the way to go.

Membathisi - 27 June 2016

Roy Phiri go to Malawi cz ur brain is always fixed with the past. U and Robbers and Muggers should pack and go to Malawi. We need progreesive Zimbos not attack Joiyce over the past. Go back school unless if you are a useless graduate from the CIO campus from Bindura..,,,Roy as in Rombe.....leave Joyce alone...,we need her to rescue our parents who are suffering in Zim.

Clemence Tashaya - 27 June 2016

Trust me those attacking Mujuru here are ZANU PF agents afraid of a Grand Coalition. Mujuru is the way to go. Thanks to Biti and Tsvangirai for accepting the offer.

Truth Teller - 28 June 2016

@Clemence Tashaya. If there are progressive Zimbabweans you are certainly not one of them. Ray Phiri has stated facts as they are about Joyce. That you love her so much with her dirty hands cannot be a ground for you to tell Ray Phiri to go away. Infact what qualifies you to be a Zimbabwean better than him ? Do you know him ? What about if you find out that his contribution ( and that of his kith and kin) to Zimbabwe surpasses what you and your whole family tree has done for the country. That you name Tashaya sounds Zimbabwean does not lands you on a superior slot in this country. You are a thick-headed moron who think going to school is for the sack of acquiring xenophobic traits you are stupidly displaying in your post. If you feel Ray Phiri is frustrating your chances of joining Joyce in looting Zimbabwe if she succeeds in conning people into following her to being president of the country you better find a better approach. This way is , I am afraid to say, counter productive. We have generations of Malawians in Zimbabwe who helped make what our country was before your Joyce and Mugabe destroyed it. If you had brains you could be listening to Ray then dump your dumb baobab who takes Zimbabweans for granted.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 28 June 2016

for every beggining there is an end Coalition is imminent for us Zimbabweans to move out of poverty.

stewart - 28 June 2016

How can anyone in their right mind just brush aside Joice's past and just accept that she has reformed, is genuine, not a double agent working in cahoots with CIO? Another big question about her relates to her reaction, or lack of, when her husband died under very mysterious circumstances? When you add everything up there is just too much evidence that brings her integrity and motives into question? Never would I trust this People First Party.

Mbewa - 28 June 2016

i thot i asked a simple & tiny question yesterday when I said, if a demon is ejected from the gates of hell, does it become an angel again? I bet a grade 3 student doing RME ( Religious & Moral Edu) can give a correct answer without fear of beating or corrections. it baffles when pple forget chezuro nehope! This is content stuff that needs no gineous of mind to read btwin the lines.

SaManyika Chaiye - 28 June 2016

It is GRAND COALITION or nothing in 2018!

Chikata - 28 June 2016

Learn from Kenya how dangerous coalition is after the bloddy parting of Raila and Kibaki. Itai party yenyu mega. Isu we value consistence noti zvokuita hwaku muhwaku. Kana agenda yako iri yokubisa imwe party then I am not for you. But kan iri yokuti you have a bankable and realistic solution to the nation then will place my vote on you. Mai Mujuru maidai makagara pasi moona kuti windy yaGrace invhuvhutira kuti coz a windy is a windy.

naome - 28 June 2016

where are ndebele people in the equation ,

|Dube-1 - 29 June 2016

So Kasukuwere says Mujuru has a hand in the 15 billion eh? 15 billion is a huge sum of money indeed! Is it the missing 15 billion that has brought the country to its present economic form? And she still is walking scotch-free? Can saint Kasukuwere tell us who was ever brought to book in for example the Willovale scandal, the Noczim, the GMB, or the Curtberth Dube PSMAS thing just to mention a few? Is the saint talking to babies here?

Vikiqiniso - 29 June 2016

Biti is an opportunists trying to use the popularity of Tsvangirai and Mujuru for personal gains. He is nothing and no one can support his party. He has no support maybe his wife and children.

Chido - 29 June 2016

@Dube I am FULLY behind your idea. These guys should put their small [or big] differences aside and form a coalition for the sake of Zimbos. We all know that the Welshman break away costed the country a new beginning. No one should be left out in this deal, from Dabengwa, Makoni, Biti, Mujuru, Tswangirai, Ncube, nana Lumumba.

Icho - 30 June 2016

guys you are missing the whole point ...Mujuru was never out of Zanu Pf this is was one of their strategies to share up ma votes ...BITIS party is also an evidence of their strategy ...the moment he tasted the power in government paya ,vakamutora vakamuita wavo ...Simba Makoni ,bITI ,Mujuru there are all Zanu pf members ...Mujuru they would never let her go akarwa hondo and she stands for women saka you think they are stupid enough to let go of her .....all those crimes shes said to have committed according to African politics ...she would be in jail suffering right now...The economy is in shumbles ...Mai Mujuru is there to dissolve or kunyaradza mhuri yeZimbabwe ...come 2017 zvinhu zvichaita sezvinonaka kuitira kuti muvote paZanu.......ZANU PF has the most educated fools vanogadzira maideas and anobudirira ...Saka please MR Tsvangirai please fight the battle on your own otherwise tinozviruza futy in 2018

chokwadi - 30 June 2016

Mai Mujuru wee gandanga rinechivindi toendanaro!!!!!!! Hanzi mapfupa angu achamuka. Teurai Ropa Nyakasikana.

Chitongo Chinomowa - 1 July 2016

Ys Mai Mujuru is dirt bt not dirtier thn ths old uncaring old man.@ least she talking about resusitating our ailing economy wht of zanu pf printing bond not bunning imports in country wt a totally collapsed industry.lers rethnk guys

henrychakanetsa - 2 July 2016

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