Mujuru solicits Tsvangirai help

HARARE - Faced with a tough by-election in Bikita West in two weeks’ time, former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) is banking on the heavyweight support of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the crucial dress rehearsal for next year’s eagerly-anticipated national elections.

ZPF elder Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News yesterday that his party planned to invite Tsvangirai to descend on Bikita West to address a joint rally with Mujuru, to help drum up support for the ZPF candidate in the hotly-contested constituency, Kudakwashe Gopo.

“It has been proposed that we work with our colleagues in the MDC and have VaTsvangirai address the people of Bikita along with our president (Mujuru) . . . please check with Colonel (Claudius) Makova, who is our point person, to see how far these plans have gone,” Mutasa said.

Although Makova was not reachable, other ZPF insiders told the Daily News that Mujuru was also hoping to convince Tsvangirai to join her when she addresses a star rally in the constituency next week, in a move which is also aimed at boosting confidence in the proposed opposition grand alliance ahead of 2018.

“If all goes well, Save (Tsvangirai) will join Mai Mujuru when he returns from Ghana at a joint rally, on the 14th, in Bikita. We expect the president (Mujuru) and Save to share the podium as we prepare to take Zanu PF to the cleaners come the 21st.

“In the process, the rally will also send a message to all who are doubting the prospects of an opposition coalition that we are not about to ignore the national sentiment that we should unite,” a senior ZPF official said.

Last year, Tsvangirai threw his weight behind independent candidate Temba Mliswa in the equally key Norton by-election, leading to Zanu PF suffering an embarrassing defeat.

The defeat further strained relations within warring ruling party factions which are fighting to determine President Robert Mugabe’s succession, with the Generation 40 (G40) group rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa ascending to the throne.

When contacted for comment, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said while they were not playing an active role in the Bikita West poll, as the party continues to boycott elections until its demands for electoral reforms are met, they were in solidarity with all progressive forces in the country.

“As a political party, we are still bound by the ‘no reforms, no elections’ resolution . . . Nevertheless, as the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe, and also as the de facto government-in-waiting, we are closely watching and monitoring political developments in Bikita West constituency.

“We are resolutely pushing for electoral reforms under the Nera trajectory and already, we have scored some significant victories,” he said adding buoyantly that the MDC would form the next government after the 2018 elections.

MDC insiders have previously confirmed to the Daily News that Tsvangirai is on the verge of sealing a historic pact with Mujuru and his former secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, with the resolute former trade unionist also telling diplomats late last year that he was wary of the “real prospects” of the panicking ruling Zanu PF using some of the country’s smaller opposition parties to put spanners in the works of a viable grand coalition.

His address to representatives of foreign governments also came after he recently set out clear conditions for all his prospective coalition partners — as the mooted grand alliance gets ever closer.

“Once again on this issue, Your Excellencies, you must understand that we reserve our right to determine who we will work with.

“There are about 42 political parties in the country, some of them deliberately created by Zanu PF to muddy the political waters. Some of them are not even institutions in the true sense of the word. We will do our own necessary diligence checks before we work with anyone,” Tsvangirai told the diplomats.

Sources close to the ongoing coalition talks also told the Daily News that there was now “an agreement in principle” between Mujuru and Tsvangirai about the two working together — with talks with Ncube apparently set to be concluded soon.

Tsvangirai, who commands a huge following among Zimbabweans, and is the only politician in the history of the country to defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF in an election — in 2008 — has also said opposition parties needed to field a candidate in 2018 with a real chance of winning that year’s poll.

“The presidential candidate must be selected on the basis of the best individual who can win an election for the coalition against the incumbent. The party, based on past performance and other factors, and which is the strongest electorally in a given constituency must also field the candidate for the coalition.

“The MDC is persuaded to be part a people-based pre-election pact for the reasons that we are a people-based party with an electoral history and which subscribes to the democratic principle that the authority to govern is derived from the people,” he said.

Tsvangirai and Mujuru are part of the 18 opposition parties which have coalesced under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), and which has recently scored a psychological victory by forcing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to include them in committees tasked with working on the 2018 election preparatory works.

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

Since Mujuru joined hands with Tsvangirai and marched with him in the streets of Gweru in August last year — in a rare public display of unity among the opposition — there have been growing calls by fed-up citizens for the formation of a grand opposition alliance.

On her part, Mujuru has said that the country’s mooted grand coalition — which is set to be in place this year — would bring to an end Mugabe and Zanu PF’s long rule.

“My fellow citizens and countrymen, the Zanu PF government has failed. It has shown that it lacks the commitment to implement programmes that better the generality of our people.

“We agree with the sentiments which we gathered from the interactive discussions we had with the people during our nation-wide tour. Your message was loud and clear, that it’s time for Mugabe to leave office,” Mujuru said late last year.

“We also take heed of your strong conviction for the need that opposition parties should form a grand coalition to effect change in the regime and bring about a new way that puts people first.

“As ZPF, we believe a grand coalition should not only quantify votes, but should bring our people together. It should be a process capable of fostering convergence and national healing. A process of such magnitude should also be people-driven and guided by the need to build like-minded synergies among various stakeholders,” she added.

Comments (15)

I will vote for Zanu pf

bikita West - 7 January 2017

VIP for MDC T not to be used by pple who are seeking support and if ZPF thinks it is a political giant it must go it alone and prove everyone wrong . Recently Themba was helped to win Norton by Morgan after that he started boasting hallucinating insulting Morgan . zpf must test its strength alone without influence from mdc t if they want to be taken serious . The truth is in Zim they are 2 political parties MDC T AND ZANU PF the rest are just taking chances bcoz they have seen that zanu is now a moving grave like its owner .

Diibulaanyika - 7 January 2017

Lest we forget.... "Who is Tsvangirayi? He will never rule this country. Never, ever! How can we let the country be ruled by sellouts? He will only do so over our dead bodies? If we go to the polls and he defeats Mugabe, Zanu PF and the people of Zimbabwe will not allow that." Didymus Mutasa said this in 2011. This guy is now in ZPF and claiming to be on the side of the oppressed Zimbabweans. Judge for yourselves people of Zimbabwe.

njikenjike - 7 January 2017

A political party that is currently boycotting all national elections is dreaming of winning the 2018 national elections.This is a big joke.

wilbert. - 7 January 2017

A political party that is currently boycotting all national elections is dreaming of winning the 2018 national elections.This is a big joke.

wilbert. - 7 January 2017

We have evidence that MDC T is popular only those who are not mentally sound enough can dispute that bcoz a few months ago mdc t influenced elections in Norton and zanu bite the dust , Now even Smith used say not in thousabds times will blacks rule this country but what happened will all know . So yo say Morgan will never rule is wishful thinking from those who have benefited from zanu rot .

Diibulaanyika - 7 January 2017

It makes sense for Tsvangirai to work with Mujuru in securing the Bikita west . It will mean one less ZANU-PF member of parliament, and that's a step forward.

david taylor - 7 January 2017

Did Mai Mujuru apologise for the masacre of the ndebele people in Matebeleland?

nhemacena - 7 January 2017

Let me take this opportunity to comment on what I have noticed about MDC-T party and the leadership. During the GNU period people used to advise Tsvangirai to be on the lookout and make sure that laws were aligned with the new constitution, what did Tsvangirai do, he sat back and when 2014 elections came, he was bitten left right and centre. After election Tsvangirai and MDC came up with a lot of stupid excuses, that elections were rigged. Tsvangirai was asked to pass on the batton stick to someone but he declined. This time people are talking of the grand coalition, what sort of language do you hear from big headed MDC-T leadership, selfishness. Please, MDC-T throw away the stupid ego and selfishness and forget about dreaming MDC-t and Tsvangirai going to state-house because that is never gonna happen. Look at Zambia, Gambia, Kenya, etc they were successful in dethroning dictators because they were not obssed about who was going to go to statehouse. All opposition political paties need to come together for one reason and one reason only, the people of Zimbabwe. Now you have got war vets on your side but you still focus your attention at individual paties. I have never seen selfish big headed clueless opposition leaders like the current ones in Zimbabwe. Just listen to the tone of MDC-T selfish and ignorant statement ' as a largest popular political part and a de facto government-in waiting' really! Please, stop dreaming and give us some seriousness. You need to work up guys, we all no how cunning zanu pf and mugabe. tell me, 'what new measure have you put in place this time around in order to avoid the same situation which took place since 2000, none! If at all, it should be MDC on the forefront to make sure that a grand coalition is in place so that people's votes are not stolen once and for all. Other than that, MDC-T can forget being part of a ruling party in future. Remeber the mega rally before 2014 election?

nhemacena - 7 January 2017

I was saying 2014 MDC mega rally, you thought the statehouse was already in your grasp but it never happened, just like before, it became another chapter in the history elections in Zimbabwe under zanu pf rule. SWALLOW your PRIDE MDC-T. Zvehukuru zvinozouya matora hurumende. Other that that, you can forget about being a government in waiting. Your legacy will be remembered as selfish politicians who were greed and clueless about the political dynamics of Zimbabwe in the 21st Century

nhemacena - 8 January 2017

Did Mai Mujuru apologise for the masacre of the ndebele people in Matebeleland?

nhemacena - 8 January 2017

Take yo chance while Zanu is still divided.Make hay now.Go deep in rurals whr yo leader ,Mr Tsvangirai has a very bad reputation.They do t trust him at all.They think he is a rattlesnake ,playing hosho wth its tail for attraction bt carrying poison to bite.If yu win Bikita wth Tsvangirais help ,then it will be Tsvangi s victory not ppf.Stand alone Mujuru.Prove yoself.On this one the comrades are just watching.We look and see,like grade ones.

viola gwena - 8 January 2017

As I said before ,on this platform,going empty handed ,wth nothing ,to rurals will be tyme wasting.Bring hupfu,shuga,masamba,mafuta and yu will reap in thousands,but manja only ,mmm.And dont bring yo town women along,those light skinned ,smelling good women by yo side.Rurals hate that.But for Bikita good luck .I. . Goodluck to who ,ppf or mdc?

viola gwena - 8 January 2017

It is funny that even fools who do not know what brings about coalitions are talking about it. in simple terms coalition is kanzatu where political parties have nearly the same number of supporters so they decide to have a join venture so they do not split votes .So how do one then talk of a coalition with someone who does not have a single seat in parly sure that is total lunatic . We all know that if MDC T had not joined the govt in 2009 this country could have collapsed many pple who have died .MDC BROUGHT back some stability shops openned hospitals had some medicine policemen could put on new uniforms schools had text books and teachers had their monthly salaries without fail zim dollar scrapped and USD AND OTHER CURRENCIES INTRODUCED . which up to this day we use so if one try to by pass such achievements by mdc who were working under very difficulty condition then if that person is not insane then what is he ?

Diibulaanyika - 8 January 2017

Just to respond to Diibulaanyika's last comment. My friend this is why MDC is not getting anyway, each election year which comes by people are left shell-shocked by zanu pf. It is because of that egomania and selfishnes circulating amongst MDC-T supporters that they can go it alone, rubbish! Zimbabwe has got a population of about 12m minus those in diaspora. Tell me, how many votes did MDC-T get? Just a handful in 2014 and where did the rest go? The rest were shared by these small parties. Imagine, if all those shared votes were to go to a one grand coalition party zanu pf would be a thing of the past. So far, can you come up with a significant change which MDC-T has made which can make people believe that its going to win 2018 elections, none, zero. Laws are not yet aligned with our new constitution, no measures in place to stop zanu pf from stealing election. Zimbabwe elections need international monitors, not toothless bulldogs like AU, SADC, China and Russia. Laws need to be in line with new constitution, other than that you can dream on.

nhemacena - 8 January 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.