PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was yesterday unveiled as the leader of a three-party “Coalition for Change” involving his MDC-T, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) and Zanu Ndonga amid reports that the MDC-T leader was still courting Welshman Ncube’s MDC to his camp ahead of the July 31 harmonised polls.
Announcing the coalition yesterday, MKD leader Simba Makoni said they remained open to a possible eleventh hour pact with Ncube and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, who last week announced a surprise pact between their parties.
Tsvangirai is believed to have dangled theVice-Presidency to Ncube in a bid to have all parties opposed to President Robert Mugabe to rally behind him.
“The MDC-T, MKD and Zanu Ndonga have today (yesterday) agreed to enter into a Coalition for Change in order to offer solutions to the problems facing the country,” Makoni said.
At the meeting, the MDC-T was represented by Tsvangirai while Zanu Ndonga was represented by its leader Reketayi Semwayo.
“The coming-together of these parties was necessitated by the shared commitment to bring to an end the current hardships confronting Zimbabweans, due to the failed policies of the past. The engagement process was between five political parties and Ncube himself,” Makoni added.
“The leaders of the five political parties have been in consultation since the time we issued a joint statement co-signed by the five leaders. The reality is that the five parties have been in consultation for the past two-and-a-half months.
“We have continued to discuss not only the Constitutional Court ruling and the Sadc Extraordinary summit, but we were hoping to be five at this table today and this is why we conclude this statement by maintaining our willingness and readiness to work with others, including Professor Welshman Ncube.”
Makoni said the parties were now negotiating horse-trading some of their parliamentary and council election slots as part of the deal. The MKD leader is contesting the Makoni Central seat on behalf of his party.
He said the aim of the coalition was to support each other in National Assembly and local authority elections, and constitute a “genuine government of national unity after winning the elections”.
“In implementing the above transformation agenda, the parties resolved that they would constitute a lean and competent executive team of not more than 25 Cabinet ministers, including the Presidency. The new government will immediately restore broken relationships regionally and internationally, ensuring that Zimbabwe is a respectable and respected member of the family of nations and end the current isolation of the country caused by poor governance and State-sponsored human rights abuses,” Makoni said.
MDC sources said the MDC-T had offered Ncube the second vice-presidency under a five-party grand coalition.
“They (MDC-T) offered us the second vice-presidency, positions in provincial government, the Speaker of Parliament post as well as a few unnamed Cabinet posts,” one of the sources said.
MDC-T secretary for international relations Jameson Timba yesterday said his party would field candidates in all constituencies, but would support the candidatures of Makoni and Semwayo in Makoni Central and Chipinge Central respectively.
“Basically the MDC-T has fielded candidates in all 210 constituencies, but I can tell you that we will be supporting the candidature of Makoni in Makoni Central and Semwayo in Chipinge Central. I am unable to say off-hand how we will support other MKD candidates in other constituencies as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet to release names of those who went through the Nomination Court.
“It is only after winning the elections that we will announce Makoni’s position in government and how we will allocate the 25 Cabinet posts to the three parties in the coalition,” Timba said.
Turning to threats by Mugabe to pull out of Sadc, Makoni said: “Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth, made a unilateral proclamation of the election date and unilaterally amended electoral laws and that is why it is important for Zimbabweans to determine their destiny and vote for change of power so that there are no more leaders who change things unilaterally.”