No going back on coalition: Mujuru

FORMER Vice-President Joice Mujuru yesterday pledged her unwavering commitment to the proposed grand coalition with fellow opposition leaders including MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, brushing aside recent conflicting statements by her deputy Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, as a sign of “robust and health discourse of super democrats”.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/NUNURAI JENA

NPP leader Joice Mujuru
NPP leader Joice Mujuru

Mujuru, through her National People’s Party (NPP) spokesperson Gift Nyandoro, urged other opposition leaders not to be swayed by recent remarks attributed to Sipepa Nkomo, who was quoted last week as suggesting that Tsvangirai was a failed politician and unsuitable to lead the coalition.

The remarks by the NPP deputy president reportedly triggered a fierce storm among opposition parties and threatened to derail coalition talks as the statements were widely viewed as representative of Mujuru and her
entire team’s line of thinking.

The latest fissures came a few weeks after Mujuru and Tsvangirai signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for the proposed grand coalition which is expected to field a single presidential candidate to challenge President Robert Mugabe in next year’s do-or-die elections.

Tsvangirai has also signed a similar deal with MDC leader Welshman Ncube and is set to ink another coalition pact with People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti.

Nyandoro said the groundwork was already laid to seal the coalition deal and no amount of sideshows would derail the process. He, however, could not disclose whether Mujuru would rein in her deputy.

“Any assumption or suggestion that Dr Mujuru could quit or dump coalition talks is far divorced from reality. She remains committed to the coalition discourse and the grand 2018 projection that democracy should return to the country,” he said.

“The diverse political posturing that may appear as conflicting statements by members across the divide is a clear reflection of the robust and healthy discourse of super democrats. It is reflective of individual preferences and not of the institutions,” he said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Sipepa Nkomo made a volte-face, saying: “I never said Tsvangirai is a failure. My intention was to address concerns of our membership who felt that because the MoU was signed at Tsvangirai’s house we were being swallowed as a party.

“It was the MDC-T members, who, after the MoU, began declaring that Tsvangirai would lead the coalition. We wanted to put things at an equal footing. We are negotiating and when the time comes, a criterion will be set that those willing to lead would be judged by,” Sipepa Nkomo said.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka refused to discuss the issue when asked if there had been any interaction between the MDC-T leader and Mujuru in the aftermath of Sipepa Nkomo’s gaffe.

“It would be a violation of the memorandum of understanding that we signed. I cannot be of help on that. I cannot say anything,” Tamborinyoka said.

Nyandoro also revealed that the two opposition parties had set up negotiating teams to craft finer terms of the pre-election agreement.

“For the record, Dr Mujuru is [National Electoral Reform Agenda] Nera’s head of the political committee which demonstrates practical participation and commitment to the broader democratic agenda.

“Secondly, technical and strategic teams of all progressive forces are working together behind the scenes to ensure that the coalition project comes to fruition,” Nyandoro said.

He added: “We should, therefore, never mistake healthy internal discourse and debate for failure of the coalition.

Any prophets of doom praying for the failure of the project should think twice before embarking on such a futile exercise. The coalition is a reality that Zimbabweans want.”

Zimbabwe’s history of violent and fraud-riddled elections has eroded public trust in voting, but the coalition leaders hope a unified alternative to Mugabe will produce a high turnout that would make it harder to rig the result.

“For us, it is the more the merrier in this opposition alliance. This is a coming-together in great numbers as a democratic force that should give confidence to our people,” Mujuru told AFP last week.

But critics say Tsvangirai’s political sway was too narrow to build a truly broad anti-Mugabe movement that would include churches, civil action groups and radical activists behind last year’s surge of street protests.

“There is little doubt that Morgan should be the leader, the issue is on what grounds the support comes from others,” said Ivor Jenkins, of the In Transformation Initiative, the South African pro-democracy group that is aiding talks among the opposition.

“The game-changer might be the realisation that this could be their last chance. If they don’t take it, there are many years of bigger chaos ahead.”

Meanwhile, State security agents in Mashonaland West on Saturday reportedly attempted to block Mujuru from interfacing with traditional leaders in Hurungwe district.

Sources said Mujuru later outmanoeuvred them and separately met Chiefs Chanetsa, Nematombo and Dendera.

But, Nyandoro said he was unaware of Mujuru’s visit to Mugabe’s home province.

11 Comments

  1. This so-called confusion is a clear imagination of some news media particularly THIS ONE. I don’t understand how these newspapers gain when ZANUPF continues to kill people and rig elections. Some media houses are heavily infiltrated by ZANUPF agents. People choose to distort information with their eyes wide open!!! People including those in Mberengwa, Uzumba-Maramba Pfungwe and many so-called ZANUPF stronghold areas. I would like to thank Amai Mujuru for raising our hopes. Whoever opposes the formation of a coalition becomes an enemy of the people. Thank you very Mr Nyandoro.

  2. Get away, NPP, chimbuya ichi is full of confusion and l think her party/ if it is there is full of rubbish. chi party ichi ma agents we do not need it at all. ropa ravanhu vamaiuraya muri mu zanu pf is now confusing you, chokwadi chiripo, you do not have followers completely as compared to Tsvangirai, and you have been bedding with the enemy zpf for too long, how then do you expect zimbos to trust you? your blood is still zpf, zivai kuti makaita zvekudzigwa mu zpf, hamuna kubuda mega chero nhasi dai Mugabe asina kukudzingai daimuriko. Oliver and Sipepa you are sell outs better keep away from politics kana dzichikurambayi.

  3. We can no longer entertain retardees in the coalition deal lest we fail to beat the timelines. Double speaking NPP cadres must drop Zanu PF hangover whose motive is yet to be established. Those in their elementary years in the opposition should stop washing their dirty linens in public and learn to raise their grievances privately within the opposition structures. Unless a joint opposition spokesperson is left to address the progress and programme of the coalition on a timely basis, divergent sources of information will be used by your competitors to dismantle your outfit. Besides forming a coalition, there are many underlying setbacks, key among them electoral reforms that you have to demand as a pact. Lets grow up politically or brace for another five years in the cold. Good luck!

  4. To all the old politicians in Zimbabwe (opposition and ruling party alike), it is very possible to retire and live happily ever after political life with your children and grandchildren. You will die a happy and accomplished man. This also extends to the judges, registrar-general of Zimbabwe and all those who are still holding public offices beyond retirement the age.

  5. Hugo you stil need tym to learn how to participate effectively in the political affairs of the country. we need a solution, not ‘football like -support type of politics’

  6. Sipepa ane kana one Vote here pasi pano.

  7. Uana Sipepa vajahra kuZANU kune confusion. Umba8ha whavakuvapengesa. Mai Mujulex was suppose to choose smbdy ariOpposition minded not mharadzi dzechindeere idzo vana Sipepe. He belongs GUN PF THAT OLD MAN.

  8. Pakaipa kkkkkk vainge vanakirana kkkk mudatambe nesu we need u guys rongekai chete . Kana kungororana chete

  9. what we need is bread and butter. we are tired of this fucken zanupf

  10. handei tione

  11. tagarira webuhera

    Rahman cn u drive yo point home, wats the gahena are u attering? kunakirana, kuroorana zvabvepi apa, get examined by a competent doctor and receive yo ceritificate of madness thereafter. this is a platform of realman and woman wjo are talking real politics so if you don’t have anything to say just read and learn silently

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