MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday chose to ignore statements by National People’s Party (NPP) leaders, who blasted his leadership style ahead of their coalition negotiations, expressing optimism the electoral pact will be successful.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
While addressing party supporters in Gutu on Thursday, NPP leaders, including its president, Joice Mujuru, vice-president Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and chairman Dzikamai Mavhaire described Tsvangirai as a failure.
They disputed claims by Tsvangirai’s supporters that he alone should lead the coalition. Asked to comment on the negative perception that Mujuru and crew have of the MDC-T leader, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said they remain committed to the deal, avoiding responding directly to the disparaging remarks.
“We remain amenable to working with other parties. The national council adopted principles and fundamentals of embracing the idea of working with others,” he said.
Tamborinyoka said further to his party’s resolution, Tsvangirai consulted people and was directed to engage other parties for a possible coalition.
“We don’t want to be drawn into discussing what is happening in other parties. We have an MoU (memorandum of understanding) and to the best of our knowledge it stands,” he said.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu weighed in, describing themselves as mature politicians.
“We are mature politicians. We are determined to reconstruct and rebuild Zimbabwe,” he said.
“What will we gain from exchanging public brickbats with fellow opposition politicians? We don’t want to lose focus.
“We know our trajectory and we are not going to be distracted by purposeless and mistimed insults and jibes.”
Gutu said coalition negotiations were not for rallies, where grandstanding might be the order of the day.
“Negotiations are not carried out in pubic or at rallies. The MDC remains focused and very clear on the issue of coalitions,” he said.
“President Morgan Tsvangirai is personally seized with this matter, we remain committed and confident that there will be a strong coalition to face Zanu PF in next year’s elections. Speeches at political rallies can be very excitable and emotionally charged but you shouldn’t read too much into public grandstanding and posturing.”
Tsvangirai signed memoranda of understanding with Mujuru and Welshman Ncube of MDC to pave way for formal negotiations towards setting up a coalition.