Tsvangirai keeps Mujuru guessing

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai could leave his ZimPF counterpart, Joice Mujuru (pictured) stranded at the altar, literally, as the former premier is non-committal on whether he will address a joint campaign rally for the former Vice-President’s candidate, Kudakwashe Gopo ahead of the Bikita West by-election later this month.


Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru
Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru

Mujuru and Tsvangirai are billed to address a joint rally, which many consider to be seminal for the formation of a coalition of opposition parties, but the MDC-T leader is yet to confirm his availability, a move that could sow the seeds of distrust ahead of alliance talks.

ZimPF and MDC-T are seen as the leading lights in the formation of a coalition, but the parties have haggled a lot publicly and the Bikita West by-election could be a litmus test for both entities.

This comes as some players within the MDC-T are reportedly pushing for the party to withhold its support, so that the Mujuru camp is put to test, and if it wins, it could be deemed good enough as a coalition partner ahead of the 2018 elections, while a loss could deem it a lesser party in future negotiations.

ZimPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said they had invited the MDC-T leader along with other opposition parties for the star rally slated for next week, as the party faces its first test since the formation.

“We have invited every political party be it in Nera (National Electoral Reform Agenda) or Code (Coalition of Democrats) and that includes Morgan Tsvangirai,” he said.

“Everyone is welcome, we are yet to get confirmation, but I can say we have invited everyone who cares.”

But, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said his boss has not yet made a decision on the matter, as he has a busy schedule, which includes international engagements.

“He is coming back from Ghana today (yesterday) and he has a busy schedule this week, so he will only make a decision afterwards,” he said.

MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, said his party has not yet received a formal invitation for Tsvangirai to address the ZimPF candidate’s campaign rally.

“We have not received any formal request from ZimPF, but our party stands ready to support any political party to fight against the dictatorship of Zanu PF,” he said.

The by-elections are being held to fill in a vacancy created by the incarceration of Zanu PF legislator, Munyaradzi Kereke.

Zanu PF is represented by Beauty Chabaya with Madock Chivasa representing the National Constitutional Assembly, while Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe has Tanyaradzwa Makumbo.

The crunch by-election, set for January 21, is also being contested by two independent candidates, Heya Shoko and Innocent Muzvimbiri.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was last week in the constituency campaigning for Chabaya, with his counterpart, Phelekezela Mphoko set to descend on the area soon for yet another star rally for their candidate.

Political analyst, Alexander Rusero said the by-election was an acid test for Mujuru, as it would help measure her support base following her expulsion from the ruling party.

“A win for Mujuru will work to her advantage, as she could use it when bargaining in the coalition talks. For long, her support base has been measured based on assumptions and now it will be put to test,” he said.

“Remember, if she wins, she would have proved that she has what it takes to be in that coalition with Tsvangirai.
This coalition is not about personalities, but what those personalities are bringing on the table, numbers count.”

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure said Mujuru should brace for a huge fight from Zanu PF, as they would want to ensure prospects of a coalition are thwarted by giving ZimPF a heavy defeat.

“Once beaten twice shy so goes the famous saying and for Zanu PF, this is a statement at the moment. Mujuru must prove herself so that when it comes to coalition talks, she will have some base to talk about,” he said.

Masunungure cautioned that Zanu PF will not let her have it easy.

“But Zanu PF will do all it can to ensure that prospects of a coalition are dealt with and this will be through winning the seat by hook and crook.

“Even using unorthodox means would help. For Mujuru, she has to invest resources, strategies, so that if she was to lose, it would be in a dignified manner.”

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  1. If he was in Ghana at the time the story was written, then the headline is a bit exaggerated – why not wait until his return?

  2. Mr Tsvangirai if political parties shun elections they lose relevance. you cannot be a political party which always urges the its voters to vote other parties.

    1. Mature political parties have their codes of conduct. If your party does not believe in participating in elections and you disagree, you are free to leave, like coltart and the others who believed in senatorial elections.

    2. Are they suppose to sacrifice people’s lives and properties to maintain relevance

  3. I find the mdct strategies very weird worse the abuse of its supporters who will vote for other parties yet they boycott by-election, it’s funny indeed

  4. Asiapa chimbomirayi moga tione

  5. Mature political parties have their codes of conduct. If your party does not believe in participating in elections and you disagree, you are free to leave, like coltart and the others who believed in senatorial elections.

  6. Strange indeed. If Tsvangirai does what he did in Norton he will be telling us MDC supporters to vote for another party. Stay away Morgan, you have blundered before.

    1. Mujuru thought it wiser to form her own party and not join MDCT. So what’s the noise now?

  7. Your enemy’s enemy is you friend

  8. He is confirming that mdc stands for morgan dununu chairo. He does not know what he wants. No idealogy.

  9. The usual irrational politics! Brace up to eat the humble pie after the election once you succumb to big brother politics, ideological differences and collaborative witch-hunting.

  10. united we stand divided we fall
    forward ever

  11. Participating in those elections will imply that elections are held freely in this country. Got that !!!

  12. If MDCT participates in campaigns and ZPF wins who would have won. Let ZPF prove its worth first.

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