Mujuru troubles worry Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is apparently so concerned about the ugly fallout between Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) interim leader Joice Mujuru and the party’s founding fathers, that he phoned one of these stalwarts on Wednesday — Didymus Mutasa — to express his disquiet about the damaging ructions.

But despite his disappointment with the turmoil engulfing ZPF, the Daily News understands that the former prime minister in the government of national unity has also given Mujuru some oxygen of sorts by re-affirming his commitment to working with her in the mooted grand opposition alliance, which is expected to be in place by the end of this year.

Mutasa confirmed yesterday that a concerned Tsvangirai had indeed enquired from him about the farcical ZPF events of Wednesday, in which Mujuru fired her top lieutenants, including Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo — who responded in kind by summarily sacking the former vice president from the fledgling party.

“Tsvangirai phoned me about what is happening and I told him that he should ask Mujuru,” Mutasa said.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, also confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that his boss was very worried about the events unfolding within ZPF, but said there was “no turning back” on the opposition’s planned coalition.

“We cannot comment on what is happening at a neighbour’s house even if that neighbour is a friend, suffice to say that the president sees the developments as unfortunate.

“It is also unfortunate that it is the opposition that is attracting the negative publicity when the real culprit (Zanu PF) is watching from the sidelines.

“But the decision to form a coalition has been made by the national assembly and we will stand by that,” Tamborinyoka said.

In an unexpected bombshell that shook both the opposition movement and ordinary Zimbabweans alike, Mujuru on Wednesday morning announced that she had expelled the founding elders of the party Gumbo and Mutasa, together with five other party heavyweights — on account of them being alleged Zanu PF agents and working to topple her from her interim position.

“Having done extensive consultation within the rank and file of the party and also in my capacity as the president with the executive authority to ensure its wellbeing, I hereby announce the expulsion of the following members from Zimbabwe People First with immediate effect: Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Margaret Dongo, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Luckson Kandemiri, Munacho Mutezo and Claudious Makova,” she said.

But no sooner had she completed her briefing than the situation turned into a complete farce, when Mutasa and Gumbo announced at their own press conference that they had similarly expelled Mujuru from ZPF.

Gumbo said Mujuru had “revealed to all and sundry” that she was incapable of leading an opposition party, and was therefore not fit to hold such an office.

“She has declared war on us and the die has been cast. We don’t think that she is the right person to lead us. We no longer recognise her as the leader of People First,” Gumbo said at the packed media event which was also attended by the other supposedly expelled members.

Weighing in, Mutasa said even though the elders were still to settle for her successor, one thing they were sure about was that they were “tired” of her style of leadership.

“We are not surprised by her irrational and emotional decision purporting to expel us. In fact, at the time she held her press conference, we were waiting for her at the party offices as she had told us that we should wait for her since she was at the Trauma Centre.

“She has no right to expel us. Mujuru was in fact appointed by us the founders of the party to lead the party as the interim president,” Mutasa thundered in remarks that don’t bode well for the still-to-properly-take-off party.

“An intelligent Mujuru would not have expelled VaGumbo and Mutasa. She has not got even a modicum of intelligence,” Mutasa added mockingly.

But a defiant Mujuru said yesterday that the expulsion of the founding elders and five other officials was good riddance, as they were allegedly “damaged goods”.

Her spokesperson Gift Nyandoro told the Daily News that they now felt that they no longer had damaged goods within their ranks and would thus be able to negotiate better with other political parties as they endeavoured to form the mooted grand coalition against Zanu PF.

“Nothing has changed over the talks. ZPF remains focussed on the talks . . . Mujuru is the face of the party and she is the one who was given the mandate to engage all other progressive opposition leaders to ensure that we confront Zanu PF as a united front,” he said.

But as Nyandoro spoke, dozens of other party stalwarts were deserting the burning new kid on the political block yesterday, putting its future in doubt.

Amid the chaos, Mujuru has been working behind the scenes with Tsvangirai and other smaller opposition parties towards the formation of the planned grand coalition.

In addition, Zanu PF apparatchiks have lately been working overtime to discredit Mujuru, in what observers have described as a desperate bid to scupper Tsvangirai’s ongoing coalition talks with her.

Analysts have also 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.

Earlier this week, Tsvangirai said Mujuru had proved to be a significant opposition player — and that the two would work together with others to dethrone Mugabe and Zanu PF from power next year.

Mujuru was expelled from Zanu PF together with Gumbo and Mutasa in the run-up to the ruling party’s sham “elective congress” in December 2014, on untested allegations of plotting to assassinate and topple Mugabe from power.

Comments (10)

I think the expulsion of the so-called damaged goods from ZPF is part of the coalition conditions.The damaged goods can't be trusted as they were also expelled from Zanu pf for the same reasons.

widzo - 10 February 2017

I don't care what the analysts say...this whole thing of coalition is nonsense MDC should go it alone, 99% of opposition parties in zim are either zanu sponsored or are just there to get positions after the coalition. What is wrong with MDC, why are they so desperate to the extent of wanting to make a coalition with parties that we all can see clearly that they are either zanu sponsored or have absolutely no support base. These so called analysts are leading people astray with their shallow analysis. I do not belong to any party but I think it's evidently clear MDC T is by far the strongest party in the country. Now zanu is at it again, creating these scenarios to make sure everyone loses focus on how to make sure next year's election is free and fair. Ok guys do you realise zanu has long started rigging the 2018 election? Hope MDC knows that kkkkk.....MDC has probably 80% of the electorate but zanu has the rigging mechanism or trickery kkkk, until or unless MDC realises that they will never win an election in Zim

misty - 10 February 2017

Therez no rigging which can not b proved by concrete evidence. Unsubsidentiated claims are mere wishful thinking &biased by hulucinators .Therez no possibility of Tsvangirai having 80% of the electorate when proper counting of every election results proves otherwise

addmore gudo - 11 February 2017

Mugabe early last year said Morgan beat him by 73 pcent in 2008 hence they had to with hold election results for 5 weeks doctoring numbers and if that is not rigging what is it . otherwise how can it take 5 weeks to release results of less than 3m voters ? MDC T is the only hope for this nation and it is supported by pple across the country as compared to zanu which wins only in Mashonaland where it uses violence . Violence is how zanu rigs elections and if MDC is going to do nothing about it Then zanu will again fraudulently win again

Diibulaanyika - 11 February 2017

@addmore "GUDO".......if you don't know that zanu rigs elections then you are the one who is hallucinating and biased. Even your president mugabe admitted he lost to Tsvang by 73%....or maybe I should have said MDC T commands 73% of the electorate for you GUDO to understand.

misty - 11 February 2017

Indeed what is there for the MDC T to be desperate for? Coalition with parties which only have leadership but no discernible followers? MDC T should, in my view, expend energy and resources to penetrate all rural strongholds starting from now. I thought Zim PF would take care of that aspect but alas, they failed. If a political party wants to honestly form a coalition with MDC T what do they lose by just joining it?

Sagitarr - 11 February 2017

plz Misty,don't base yr arguments on the gaffes of an old man,trace real facts,I admit violence,voter manipulations& intimidation is rampant & rife in many rural areas but by the same token,itz admittedly true that many rural folks first, regard Mugabe as a hero of the liberation war&Tsvangirai as a papert of the west(the former oppressor);bec of land reforms which has bn of direct&real benefit to them in an effort to reduce their ever worsening poverty,Mugabe has bn undeniably receiving credit in all rural areas under these lines,together with all other gvt projects intended to benefit rural ppl,though they may not know that itz all tax payer's money,while Tsvangirai is regarded as one intending to return the oppressor-the whiteman, however Mugabe has bn receiving credit on all thoz lines.The majority of the electorate live in rural areas&I keep wondering how can Tsvangison hv 80% of the electorate when hez so despised in many rural areas for his purported western links.As regards to real counting of the votes-no such evidence hs bn found as each contesting political party places its agents at all pooling boots to watch the ballot box fr the beginning to the end-it could only come fr some hallucinating elements within our midst.Itz true that there are some rural areas where Tsvangirai & his opposition is not accepted at all.Many youths of today reject Tsvangirai over his mismanagement of the MDC

addmore gudo - 11 February 2017

To be honest Mdc-t needs Mujuru nomatter what,Mdc on its own cant make it.

dubula dubula - 11 February 2017

Now we will see a fight between Thokozani Khupe and Joyce Mujuru for MDC-T Presidency because Mai Mujuru has a big support base and Khupe cannot bring just 50 people to her rallies. Mai Mujuru has to be made the Deputy President for MDC-T and Thokozani Khupe must be removed as she cannot work with people especially the women community who constitute the majority of voters. But a grand coalition will never beat ZANU(PF) as that party is an expert of rigging and cheating and MDC-T no longer have that support they enjoyed in 2008 as many voters have loss confidence in them for sleeping on duty during the coalition government .

Takavarasha Mugero - 11 February 2017

Each political party must stand on its own, because its more healthy for accountability purposes. It must be winner takes all and forms a government. coalitions only in parliament during deliberations. There is no vote splits in the country its Zanu pf and MDC-T. Mujuru will fire or pass a vote of no confidence in Tsvangirai after the first coalition defeat. I dont know why mdc-t is dancing to this mythical war vet trump card when born frees are closing to 40yrs age.

X-MAN IV - 11 February 2017

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