Mujuru pulling a fast one on Tsvangirai

HARARE - In spite of inking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last month, signalling their intention to forge a grand coalition ahead of next year’s polls, National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru is pursuing a parallel initiative whereupon she is seeking to get into bed with the Coalition of Democrats (Code).

This has raised eyebrows within the MDC where it is being suspected that the NPP leader, who was fired from Zanu PF in 2014 for planning to topple President Robert Mugabe, could be hoping to front Code and use that as a bargaining chip when she eventually sits down to discuss the leadership of the mooted grand coalition with Tsvangirai.

Code is made up of six opposition parties namely Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (led by Simba Makoni); Welshman Ncube’s MDC; Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (led by Elton Mangoma); ZimFirst (headed by Maxwell Shumba); the Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment and the Zimbabweans United for Democracy.

Code’s current chairperson and ZimFirst leader, Shumba, confirmed this week that NPP has lodged its application to join the alliance, which is being considered favourably.

He said: “Code has become the real driver towards true coalition. The Code secretaries-general are considering NPP’s application and are set to join. The signing ceremony is on Friday. Code is a new platform for (the) coalition. Morgan’s MoU is dead in (the) water”.

Shumba seemed to suggest that Mujuru has lost interest in her MoU with Tsvangirai although this could not be corroborated by NPP officials.

What is, however, emerging is that the development has widened the rift between Tsvangirai and Mujuru, the two opposition leaders tipped to gun for the leadership of the coalition.

The duo has always appeared to be blossom buddies in public, while behind the scenes there is political skulduggery going on over the leadership of the coalition.

The Daily News has previously reported about the manoeuvres in the MDC to block Tsvangirai from leading the coalition amid suspicions that Mujuru could be working with the MDC leader’s deputy, Thokozani Khupe, to have a woman in the race for the presidency.

Contacted for comment yesterday, NPP spokesperson  Methusile Moyo was evasive saying he wanted to first consult the powers-that-be.

In recent months, the former vice president has played second fiddle to Tsvangirai, who is widely seen as the opposition hope against Mugabe come elections in 2018.

Tsvangirai scored a symbolic victory last month when he managed to woo Mujuru to his private residence for the signing of the MoU that sets conditions for working towards a grand coalition pact.

There is a consensus among the country’s political observers that an electoral pact that involves Tsvangirai and Mujuru stands a chance of ending Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

Fitting smugly into the straitjacket philosophy — that is venerated by the country’s influential military — Mujuru boasts of liberation war credentials that have thus far been Tsvangirai’s Achilles heel, and is regarded as an alternative because of her historical ties and also links to key government departments.

Mujuru has been going around the country trying to set up structures following the fallout in the Zimbabwe People First, where she was interim leader, before branching out to form NPP.

And as she seeks to shore up her political stock, Mujuru is expected to address multiple rallies across the country with the hope of reaching out to the rural vote which has in the past rejected Tsvangirai.

During her recent visit to Bulawayo, she is said to have held meetings with Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, as she sought to gain leverage during the coalition talks.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said there was no need to hurry the coalition, stating Tsvangirai was handling all coalition negotiations.

“At any rate, we don’t negotiate in the media nor in public. We are still very hopeful that there will be a grand coalition to face Zanu PF in next year’s elections.

“A lot of things are happening behind the scenes and Zimbabweans should just be a little bit patient. In the Shona language, we say kumhanya handiko kusvika (Patience is a virtue),” said Gutu.

Political observer and Kent University law lecturer, Alex Magaisa, said it was crucial for Mujuru to accept Tsvangirai’s popularity and work for and not against him.

“The political reality is that Tsvangirai remains the main opposition leader with the capacity to draw the largest numbers among his peers.

“They have already recognised this political reality and they should be working progressively towards coalescing around one candidate. With all due respect, . . . Mujuru’s stock has fallen in the last six months.

“She had done very well so far to establish a cordial working relationship with Tsvangirai and should not be misled into thinking she must compete rather than work with him.

“They are stronger together but political realities are fundamental.

“This is not the time for delusions of grandeur and unnecessary posturing. It’s time to acknowledge and work with political realities or the opposition is doomed,” said Magaisa.

Comments (9)

I wonder what people see in joice mujuru, to me she is nowhere near presidential material, she just doesn't have what it takes. I have listened to her speeches and the content of her speeches is always lacking, I think she is just too shallow, I don't think bob would have made her his deputy if she was intelligent. I think it is so insulting to the people of Zimbabwe to even fathom joice being president of this country. This is just a game that's being played by bob to buy time and MDC seems to be buying it, it's a shame!

misty - 28 June 2017

Mujuru has a right to compete for coalition leadership save only for her failure at zpf

addmore gudo - 28 June 2017

Coalitions never really work. Tsvangirai, learn from ZANU PF! In 1979/80, there was talk of ZAPU and ZANU PF forming a coalition. Guess who turned this down. MDC T, dont form a coalition with. anyone.

Frank Mukanya - 28 June 2017

Rinemanyanga hariputirwi! Joyce wobuda pachena. Ndizvo zvaakadzingirwa kuZanu. MDC should not waste their time with Joyce. MDC must just adopt the stance "FAMBA NE ANO FAMBA NEWE", asingadi siyana naye. MDC fambai ne the PEOPLE!

Will Blackman - 29 June 2017

What is it that Joice can stand with to say i will win an election. Joice hasnt won any election while in opposition, she has to prove that first, she is not the right candidate, we now suspect joice can be a zanu pf project. Speed yake is too much, zuro uno apinda mu opposition, akutoda hukuru, Vana Tsvangirai vagara varimo voti kudii.

budha - 29 June 2017

If Joice had a clear strategy of getting into the predominantly Zanu PF strong holds (rural areas), I think she would add value in complementing MDC's urban popularity but she does not seem to have any strategy at all except to say she is a woman and has been a vice president (and helped destroy the economy and rural freedom). I have very little admiration of her ideas. MDC-T must be aware that there are some folks whose dislike of MT is stronger than their dislike of RGM, it's their choice but they should be open about it, not surreptitious. Such a constituency has let us down before, it can happen again.

Sagitarr - 29 June 2017

Mdc-t doesn't need Mujuru thy can win elections without any coaliation.They only need to put marketable candidates in all constituencies and also shun from female reservation seats for example 2013 thy reserved for un popular or undeserving women the part lost desimal.So,ths time Mdc-t just need to field popular or candidates voted by Districts

lihlo - 29 June 2017

Mdc-t doesn't need Mujuru thy can win elections without any coaliation.They only need to put marketable candidates in all constituencies and also shun from female reservation seats for example 2013 thy reserved for un popular or undeserving women the part lost desimal.So,ths time Mdc-t just need to field popular or candidates voted by Districts.imposition must stop!!!!

lihlo - 29 June 2017

@lihlo, l agree with you.Mdc-t Must stop privatising councilor,Mps and senators post, deserving candidates must get those post. Current Mps and councillors are not delivering because thy know they can bribe for the post without perfoming.Ths is the time people should decide their destiny through legitimate and nondescriminating primary elections.No one is special,why reserving for women seats yet thr is proportinal representation post plus reserved senatoral seats.Mdc-t walk your talk if you are a democratic part

harare - 29 June 2017

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