Mujuru pushes for new coalition

HARARE - Opposition National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru has finally managed to push for a drop of the of the ‘MDC’ prefix in the ‘MDC Alliance’ name and the main opposition party’s logo, as she moots a new grand coalition that would involve at least 84 parties.

The former vice president had refused to be part of the ailing Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC Alliance over the name, among other issues, arguing it was not neutral.

Last week, she travelled to South Africa (SA) and held talks with Tsvangirai’s two deputies – Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri – in which they agreed to drop the MDC Alliance name and also the MDC’s open palm symbol ahead of the fast-approaching elections.

Mujuru’s spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro, and MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, who both attended the meeting of several political parties in the neighbouring country, confirmed that they were working on papers to come up with criteria to choose a new grand coalition leader, as well as fresh name and logo.

“The reason why we went to Cape Town is because we are heeding the people’s call for us to unite. It is our hope that we should work together. We discussed about it (grand coalition) and there was a general agreement that wecould work together. The good thing is that there is now a general consensus that we must not put party symbols on a grand coalition, so while in Cape Town we deliberated on the framework and methodology of choosing a candidate, we just went to Cape Town for two days so we have agreed to make further deliberations. All the parties, the MDC, People Rainbow Coalition (PRC) and Coalition for Democrats (Code), must come up with position papers on the best way forward,” Nyandoro said.

In 2016, Tsvangirai snubbed a similar meeting that was also held in SA instead went ahead to form the MDC Alliance – a coalition of seven political parties that was, however, not represented in the meeting held in Cape Town.

The MDC leader – currently battling colon cancer in an SA hospital – left one of his three deputies, Nelson Chamisa, as leader of the MDC Alliance, who also did attend the SA meeting, though invited.

Allies of Chamisa, who is jostling to succeed Tsvangirai along with Mudzuri and Khupe, has accused his counterparts of trying to back Mujuru in her bid to take over as the leader of a grand coalition, because Tsvangirai is currently ill.

Previous engagements between Mujuru and Tsvangirai collapsed after the two leaders failed to agree on the name of the grand coalition and its leader.

While Tsvangirai, whose political party is in Parliament, went on to form the MDC Alliance, Mujuru, wanted a leader of the alliance to be chosen through an election.

And with Tsvangirai away, it seems the idea is prevailing, at least according to Mwonzora.

“The idea which we are going to sell to the MDC Alliance is that it is necessary for opposition political parties to unite, Zimbabwe has more than 84 political parties and therefore 84 potential presidential candidates, it is therefore necessary for opposition parties to work together, the proposition to form a grand coalition does not undermine existing coalitions,...a growing proliferation of political alliances is surely unnecessary, as we speak we have five including the MDC Alliance, it is necessary to form a grand coalition to stop this dictatorship. Of course they are tendencies to fence off other political parties, that is selfish, I will table to the standing committee the proposition for the formation of a new grand coalition which will be a coalition of more than 84 parties,” said Mwonzora.

Asked if the three MDC officials who went to Cape Town had the blessings of the party and were not acting contrary to Tsvangirai’s aspirations, Mwonzora said the MDC was now packed with “hypocrites”.

“People have gone to America and they did not have the standing committee approval first,” said Mwonzora, referring to the trip to the US by Chamisa, People Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti and MDC leader Welshman Ncube.

Ncube and Biti are both members of the MDC Alliance.

“The truth of the matter is that after the Chitungwiza rally Chamisa convened a meeting that unanimously resolved that we go to South Africa on Monday I convened the meeting of the presidium and we agreed to go. Chamisa was there. Today I am reporting to the standing committee what happened. thus the criticism that is coming is very cheap,”  said Mwonzora.

He added, “Tsvangirai is right now in hospital and he has appointed someone to act and therefore we have sufficient authority to act on behalf of the party, he had always been for a grand coalition, yes we were invited in 2016 and declined the invitation on the basis that the meeting had been called by Code, however Tsvangirai and myself were able to iron our differences with the organisers of that meeting so there is no problem for us attending,” said Mwonzora.

MDC youths’ leader Happymore Chidziva last week said Mwonzora, Khupe and Mudzuri were not representing the party when they flew to South Africa and called for disciplinary action against them.

“Their participation at such forum directly violates a National Council resolution which exclusively mandated the president to deal with such issues. The president is on public record to have turned down a similar invitation to attend a similar workshop conducted by the same facilitators. The action by the trio shows great disrespect, not only for the National Council resolution but also shows disdain for the party president who, in accordance with the National Council decision had refused to associate with such exercises conducted by non-Zimbabweans and abroad,” Chidziva.


Comments (5)

If the MDC Alliance agrees to this they might as well pack up and go home. Mujuru will want a central position (to lead) and will bring in her Zanu ideology and provide a soft landing for all the Zanu cast offs. She has not been tested in the opposition trenches and has no credible track record. Let her contest to divide the traditional zanu vote because in essence her and Mutasa and Gumbo and people like her are Zanu to the core. MDC Alliance you dilute your brand, undermine all your efforts and what you stand for at your peril. Zimbabwe needs a clean break from Zanu, not Zanu lite or Zanu Gamatox reloaded. It needs new leaders with fresh ideas and energy to execute those ideas.

Galore - 13 February 2018

Many people,including industrial workers& ,their movements were zanu pf in all the early years of independence-such that Harare & other urban cities remained zanu pf strong holds thru out ;they only broke up with it along the way-so did Mujuru also recently

addmore gudo - 13 February 2018

This article is misleading, the people who organised the South African meeting (Mandaza, Kagoro etc) have confirmed that politicians were invited and attended in their personal capacities and not to represent their party, it was a workshop to explore how coalitions have worked or failed to work. It was not to provide a forum to negotiate coalitions. @ Addmore gudo, yes there is truth in that even if we discount that majority never vote so we never know what they support. That said the demographics in Zimbabwe in the past 38yrs, the majority of the voting block is now made up of young adults meaning that they by and large had nothing to do with Zanu. only 4% of the Zim population is over 65yrs old and life expectancy in 2012 was around 52yrs old.

Galore - 13 February 2018

Vanhuwe plz ndapota mushandiswa nama politicians aya zivai kuti chavo chavanoda imari nembiri hapana chimwe mufunge zuro rino takanyeperwa nemupwere uyu Chamisa zvichinzi tine 15 billion yakangomirira kuti timuvhotere shuwa hakuzi kuda chigaro chete ikoko ikozvino chii chaita muKuwadzana for the past 15 yrs dzaatonga ikoko to prove his words of 15b, vanongotinyepera kana yangove nguva yema election ngatisvunurei ndapota vana vembwa havaoni zuva rimwe vakuru vakataura.

simoko - 13 February 2018

Mujuru is in fact desperate for power that she may never get. I am keeping my eyes pealed on her. The day she partners with Grace Mugabe is the day she will show everyone that she can do literally anything for the sake of attaining political power = political prostitution. That reminds me of some lady who is said to have slept with all Generals in the liberation struggle. Most of them died after fighting battles while naked when the lady was part of the group. The lady is said to be still alive. Mwari nevanhu vake!!!!

Kabius Kekedu - 14 February 2018

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