Mujuru reaches out to Tsvangirai

HARARE - Concerned by the simmering tension within some ranks of the opposition — which has the potential of getting in the way of the mooted grand coalition — former vice president and now Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, is doubling her efforts to keep her relations with former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai warm.

Well-placed ZPF sources told the Daily News yesterday that Mujuru had become “acutely aware” of heightened Zanu PF machinations to divide the opposition and disorient their planned alliance, which has spooked the ruling party, ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

This comes as the proposed opposition grand coalition is facing challenges amid reports of premature differences over who should lead such a pact, which is widely seen as the best prospect of ending President Robert Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s long stay in power.

Both MDC and ZPF officials have variously made divisive statements about who should lead the coalition, even though opposition parties coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral

Reform Agenda (Nera) are yet to firm up the idea of the coalition and pronounce on their leadership principles.

Contacted for comment yesterday, ZPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire also fingered Zanu PF for “trying to destabilise opposition parties”, to avoid the formation of a grand coalition.

“The coalition is on course and as parties we have chosen not to do our negotiations in public. As ZPF, we know there are people desperate to scuttle the proposed coalition of political parties and part of the strategy is straining relationships among the top leaders of the parties involved.

“However, we know that the will of the people, which is to see a united opposition in 2018, will be respected and is on firm ground. It can never be derailed by contrived statements cooked by enemies of the people who mischievously attribute the same statements to our leaders,” he said.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka also told the Daily News that coalition talks were ongoing, and that through platforms such as Nera, all parties interested in the alliance were “slowly finding each other”.

“Our position has not changed. Positions are not the issue here but conditions. We are ready to work with others in dealing with the crisis in the country. For now, we are coalescing around issues. The electoral reform agenda is the issue we are coalescing around as political parties.

“For us it (the coalition) is about conditions and not positions. Norton is a prime example of what happens when people work together. So, we are getting there as Zimbabweans,” he said.

Analysts say a united opposition fighting with one purpose would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at this time that the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is fighting to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

Mujuru and Tsvangirai signalled their intent to work together last August, in a move which analysts described as “very significant”, when they took part in a massive demonstration in Gweru.

Describing the scenes then as “heart-warming” Tsvangirai showered praises on Mujuru for joining the MDC in its protest and public rally.

“Did anyone ever dream of Mujuru becoming a part of the opposition? I want to congratulate her together with the ZPF leadership for seeing it necessary for us to have this joint programme. It’s not by accident that the MDC and ZPF are here together.

“I know that there will be a lot of talk, especially from Mugabe because he is afraid of the people, and by the end of the day he will even be afraid of leading Zimbabwe. We in the MDC respect Mujuru for the contribution she has made to this country. Mujuru is not the enemy,” he said.

The renewed efforts to unite the opposition comes as newly-elected Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, has said a grand opposition coalition led by Tsvangirai, and including war veterans, would definitely beat Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF in the 2018 national elections.

Speaking to the Daily News on Wednesday, the gutsy Mliswa said among the lessons that long-suffering Zimbabweans and the country’s brutalised opposition could learn from his stunning victory last Saturday, was that they could once again defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF, just as Tsvangirai and the MDC had done in 2008 — as the ruling party was “nothing” without the backing of war veterans.

Indeed, and despite battering and bribing voters with residential stands, as well as printing and distributing fake MDC flyers to confuse the people of Norton, Zanu PF was given a royal hiding in last weekend’s keenly-followed by-election in the constituency which was resoundingly won by the former ruling party bigwig.

Mliswa blew out of the water Zanu PF’s little-known Ronald Chindedza to win the Norton by-election, which came about following the expulsion of former war veterans’ leader and Cabinet minister Christopher Mutsvangwa from the ruling party — which is being devoured by its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

He polled 8 927 votes to Chindedza’s 6 192, to deliver a hammer blow to Zanu PF which was bidding to avoid defeat in Mugabe’s own backyard, as well as preventing disgruntled war veterans who campaigned for Mliswa from gaining a measure of revenge on Mugabe and his former liberation movement, following their recent hounding out of the party.

This was also despite the fact that the Norton by-election had been marked by violence, the controversial parcelling out of residential stands and mega rallies by vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, among other prominent Zanu PF politicians, as they drummed up support for Chindedza.

“To be honest and truthful, I wouldn’t have won this seat had it not been for Morgan Tsvangirai. He promised to support me to make sure that I win the election and true to his word he came to the party. He dispatched his team and MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa was actually on the ground campaigning for me.

“Even when Zanu PF unleashed violence on us, Chamisa was caught in the crossfire and inhaled teargas just like all of us. It’s a fact of life that Tsvangirai has the people. It took him just to advise his structures to work with me and victory was delivered.

“The war veterans also played a crucial role in my victory. That is why it is important for Tsvangirai to lead the planned opposition grand coalition in 2018 which will involve everyone including war veterans,” Mliswa said.

“If Tsvangirai decides to accommodate Mai Mujuru, then so be it, but that man is not only popular and genuine, he is also a natural leader and a father figure. The people of Zimbabwe like him and we can’t take that away from him.

“The problem with many of the country’s leadership is that they only think about themselves and not the people. I am grateful for the support I received from Tsvangirai and the MDC, as well as war veterans and the PDP (People’s Democratic Party),” he added.

Elaborating further on the possible role that Mujuru could take in the mooted coalition, Mliswa said “the problem with People First is that it has relegated the founders to the terraces”, after “she was invited to the party”.

“My concern is that Mujuru is trying to relegate people like (former State Security minister Didymus) Mutasa and (former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare) Gumbo when they are the founders of the party. Those people principally suffered for Mujuru.

“In Norton, we stood up against the brutal Zanu PF regime. The election was testing the coalition and electoral reforms and I don’t have to be a member of the MDC to support Tsvangirai. Zanu PF rigs elections but without war veterans they are nothing.

“People should also realise that both Mujuru and (vice president) Emmerson Mnangagwa were hand-picked by Mugabe while Tsvangirai has his own massive constituency. So let’s all back Tsvangirai for 2018,” he said.

Comments (20)

well said Temba Mliswa. I love your analysis and degree of maturity. Lets not continue looking in the mirror lest we see nothing but ourselves. Time to look through the window and see what the people want. No serious politician can ignore the support Baba Save has.

Master in Limbo - 26 October 2016

yaa there is true maturity in that analysis it is what we were crying for all along wen mujuru and u themba were helping zanu to kill our relatives in 2008

masvingo - 26 October 2016

yaa there is true maturity in that analysis it is what we were crying for all along wen mujuru and u themba were helping zanu to kill our relatives in 2008

masvingo - 26 October 2016

tsvangirai to lead the grand coalition followed by mujuru,minister of finance Biti,minister of technology Chamisa,youth empowerment Evans minister of law prof Madhuku and so on

safa ngendlala - 27 October 2016

It is known that Zanu Pf was not going to make it easy for the parties to form a grand coalition, they do evrything possible to make sure that such efforts fail, but again if the opposition are intelligent they must not conduct their coalition business in public and learn not to entertain the press until everything is finalised

sherpard - 27 October 2016

no need for coalition. even one who think that they are big enough should go it alone. it is clear that themba is now in our mdc-t tent. mujuru you will fall like a damba come 2018.

josphat mugadzaweta - 27 October 2016

The coalition gonna bring positive results if the ZPF agree that they dont have popularity on the ground but on mouth. They should acknowledge that Morgan managed to terorrise the nonagenerian"s regime party for years despite denying him access to the State House for years. I think Mutasa as the master mind of that together with their Nikuv agree with me that since 2 000 Morgan has openly defeated the clueless Robert. My only worry is will this Joice agree with that since she has been natured to be a power hungry lady by her late party. with this in short i second Morgan Richard to lead the pact and he gonna take us to the promised land. Mujuru has never voiced when in her party only to try and oppose the aged man after being expulsed from the party. Go Morgan go. but Joice should follow as Deputy

trymore - 27 October 2016

One day innocent Zimbabweans and the world at large woke up to the sad news that Mai Mujuru had been booted out of Zanu PF (for whatever reason ) Similarly a week or so ago Gonyeti and Jah Prayzah had a stalemate and miraculously the two buddies have since reconciled barely 7 days later. The commonality between these two mind blowing events is ; the acts are well planned , choreographed and executed projects . The difference between the two is ; naturally , projects in show bizz mature very early and political projects take much much longer. Its no coincidence that Mai Mujuru was ejected fron Zanu Pf 4-5 years away from the next 2018 election. The Zanu Pf machinery has capitalised on the fact that human beings naturally have short memory spans . Remember the Tekere Project , yes I mean the Tekere who was eventually buried at National Heroes Acre. And I bet you as long as Zanu Pf is in office . Mai Mujuru will be buried at the Acres . No love will ever be lost between Zanu Pf and Mai Mujuru. Come to think of it : Grace and Joyce were beamed all over the world hugging and smiling during their graduation ceremony were they were conferred with PHDs And barely a week or so later Joyce was 'disgraced' This is typically how planned projects are executed. She had to leave the party with a PHD at least to give the project some pedigree . You will all agree that Lumumba is indeed a Zanu Pf Project . I am not sure about Temba and I am just wandering why the bespectacled Pastor Evan was denied a UK visa lately. Food for thought

Amai Mandigona - 27 October 2016

I have known Mujuru since 1974.On her own she is a nobordy.She rides on smeone wth authority to succeed on any project.She was appointed head of women caders during the war ,because of Rex .She was appointed minister bcoz of the influence of Rex on President,later again Rex had to intimidate Mugabe for Teurai to be Vp.When she got kicked out ,it took Mutasa n Gumbo to drag her kicking n screaming,to become head of ppf.She had no mental stamina of her own to lead ,wthout Rex and Mugabe.She went into hibanation hoping to be recalled by Mugabe.So for her now ,she will willingly stand behind Tsvangirai,because she prefers that,holding on to smeone more senior for any leadership role.Bt watchout Mdc,if Ngwena offers her vp post later in life,she will drop yu all wthiout blinking an eye.She knows her brothers in zanu ,since the 70s.She knows Gen Chiwenga, Shiri,Chihuri Zimondi and others behind these men.Above all she knows ngwena.Food for yo thoughts MDC.

viola gwena - 27 October 2016

keeping Tsvangirai at the helm ,our nation risks another era of many years,of continual suffering,similar that of Mugabe,hey folks,where are u going wrong?May the great lord help deliver our nation fr ths continual curse.I don't think ths Mliswa thing knows exactly what he is talking abt.Do u actually realize what Tsvangirai did at MDC since 1999,first when they were grappling with the decision to for senate elections for the first time,after a clear group (MDC) decision has bn taken with a 33 to 31 majority decision Tsvangirai stunned the whole nation,he sprang up &declared himself a president overstepping his mandate,giving himself every right to override the group's take on the issue,which is quite uncharacteristic of a leader,who is only expected to implement decisions taken the majority.True ths had all prominent members of his then, close leuvitenients leaving in digust-Gibson Sibanda,Ncube,Misihairabwe etc.Was only left with little team of bootlickers like Chamisa.Only a few yrs later Tsvangirai ochestrated the change of MDC constitution to keep him continually at the helm of the MDC-be just as good as Mugabe at zanu PF who now can not b retired-a clear sign he intends to remain life president of the mdc.If by n chance he grasps our national presidency,we are completely assured of another Mugabe era of suffering under dictatorship &economic mismanagement.What more-the Mangoma-Biti storm complaining the same Tsvangirai dictatorship.Where do ppl who want to continue supporting ths Mugabe styled dictator think,we will reach with our nation,if we continue to engage in one after another.Taking his leadership record he can not lead coaliation of parties

Addmore Gudo - 27 October 2016

@Gudo.kkkkk.At least yu see what we all see too.And his deputy Teurai,her drawers full of skeletons,corrupt issues at ministry of water resourses,vp, .Zacc are coming for her,bring back the money Joice.MDC yu want a leader,a sitting duck for the Zacc on corruption.?She must clear herself 1st on all alegations ,then lead Mdc or any political party.This tendency of jumping to opposition when yu kicked out of the party is becoming annoying.It brings out all the crap mentality in these pple,worms in their heads.Mugabe was covering up for these very timid ,simple ,slow thinkers.Where is Simba Makoni now?Same issue.Mugabe covered for his shallow mind,small brain.Joice just retire and get going wth yo grand kids.

viola gwena - 27 October 2016

Themba had an eye opener and now sees what all sane people see in Morgan the only man who stood up against Mugabe and refused to be his wife .He has made Mugabe cheap and average hence everyone now wants to to challenge Mugabe bcoz they have learnt it from non other than Morgan that Mugabe is beatable . Morgan does not do jikamajika he is standing with people since 17 years ago and people want a leader of that nature .

Diibulaanyika - 27 October 2016

Batanai maoko tiite mahumbwe chaiyo ndoirikuitwa apa...hapana kana kwazvinosvika izvi

Eyewitness - 27 October 2016

A well orchestrated projected is manifesting also on this platform. Yes, in a very democratic nation it is expected but to whose advantage? The ordinary man in the street or the politicians? People of Zimbabwe are not in a dilemma to choose their political leaders but individual political leaders think so. Stop beating them to coerce their vote and they will tell you who is their political leader. Stop intimidate them they will openly choose their leader. Stop stealing their votes they will let you know their leader. Stop politicize their maize bags they know who is right for their leadership. They are the best candidates on this one

Nkululeko - 27 October 2016

Well said by Themba Mliswa.If it is Joyce mujur who is coming forward to work with other opposition forces the better. I hope other political parties that are in the opposition also see what others are seeing.What i mean is some of the political party leaders feel they cannot be led by Tsvangirai because they are very leaned.people you only need to look across the Limpopo to check the qualifications of Zuma wh is leading South Africa and then compare him with Tsvangirai.He may not be educated like the proffessors but we cannot take away the fact that people love him and he is the most likely leader to defeat Mugabe if he is given the support. I agree it is time to fight the election conditions now and level the playing field but let us avoid the mistakes we have made in the past of deviding the vote. Imagine if Zapu under Dabengwa,MDC under Ncube,Simba Makoni,and joyce Mujurus parties come and make a grand coalition round Tsvangirai as presidential candidate.It will be very difficult even for Zanu PF to rig the elections.After the devil is gone then we can split and fight for presidency in a fair environment. People need to see that we have suffered enough and this should come to a stop. We are tired being looked at as a laughing stock in the region and all over the world.

Zvighubhu Ngondo Ngodo - 27 October 2016

relegate yeiko iwe Temba zvekwa Mujuru wakazozviziva seiko..... tinokuziva mabasa ako erima kungofarisa kuti wahwina seat .... mangwana tichakuona wadzokera ku Zanu PF

Murozvi - 27 October 2016

Sour grapes some of the comments When the Bitis Welshman lsibanda left MDC Morgan stood firm with MDC He never bed mouthed any of these guts but them Bit and the gang made a song and dance about Morgan They attacked him on all sorts but he stood firm He left the door open for these guys to rejoin if they wanted but nyadzi chete Biti kunyara chete I don't support anyone but dislike Zanu as a matter of principle Taurai chokwadi vanu

Naphiri Chisayi - 28 October 2016

l am waiting hearing from God. hope get soon better Zimbabwe

tawanda - 5 November 2016

regai mwari vaite kuda kwavo hamadzangu lets pray for our nation Zimbabwe mvura inaye siyanainazvo zvematongerwe enyika hazikupii kudya tikasatanga ta namatira nyika.

zimbabwean son - 16 November 2016

kotikaita zve 5 years president ochinjwa hazviite here sezvinoita America mhinduro

Repply - 16 November 2016

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