Confusion surrounds Biti, Mujuru deal

HARARE - Confusion surrounds an electoral pact between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National People’s Party (NPP) whose signing ceremony was aborted at the last minute.

Former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who leads the NPP was forced to call off the ceremony when former Finance minister and leader of PDP Tendai Biti failed to turn up at the last minute.

Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro, who is also NPP secretary-general, told the Daily News that the two parties had on Wednesday night agreed to put pen to paper only for Biti to change the goalposts at the 11th hour.

“As a political party, we had been ready for the signing, we are not aware of what could have happened with our colleagues in PDP and we are still in the dark, we are not yet sure whether the signing is going to take place or not.

“We can only know the reasons why they didn’t pitch up if they communicate with us. However, as a party we remain committed to the principle of inclusivity, and we are going to sign agreements with other parties,” Nyandoro said.

Biti referred questions to his party spokesperson Jacob Mafume who denied that PDP had agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mujuru on Wednesday.

“We are still in negotiations to form a common front and we will be able to make a decision in the near future.

“There was a mistake that was made by the people on the ground, but we did not book the venue, people only agreed on the various venues where we could sign the MoU if and when it is ready,” said Mafume.

He insisted that Biti did not snub Mujuru adding that the two parties have since agreed on a MoU with the only thing left being the signing ceremony. “We have agreed on various issues on the MoU with Mujuru, just as we have done with the MDC but we believe that these things have to be synchronised,” said Mafume.

Biti is currently involved in behind-the-scenes talks with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who is desperate to seal a coalition deal before July 31 and boost his chances of defeating President Robert Mugabe in next year’s keenly-anticipated polls.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme told the Daily News that the country’s political parties are doing nothing on the ground that demonstrates that they are ready for a coalition apart from piecemeal concessions meant to placate restive voters.

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