Coalition continues to hit turbulences

THE highly-anticipated re-union between former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his ex-lieutenant People’s Democratic Party (PDP) front-man Tendai Biti hit a political iceberg this week after it emerged the latter still has to consult his structures.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/CLIFF CHIDUKU

Tendai Biti
Tendai Biti

Biti was supposed to be part of a contingent of opposition political parties to join hands in an alliance signing ceremony to be held today in the capital at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield.

But the former Finance minister, who has now requested time to look at the nitty-gritties of the deal, will attend the signing ceremony.

The parties failed to sign the agreement yesterday after other parties asked for time to go through the agreement, but the ceremony scheduled for today will go ahead, according to Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, who was elected as the coalition spokesperson yesterday.

“We are on tomorrow (today). We have done the initial procedure according to plan and all parties are in agreement,” Ngarivhume said.

“Everything is set for the day and all parties will be endorsing the agreement. We have virtually agreed on everything and we are geared to fight the regime. Tomorrow (today) will be a very big day. Those that may say other things are welcome at the venue so that they see for themselves history in the making.”

In an internal memorandum seen by NewsDay Weekender yesterday, following the PDP’s management meeting on Thursday, Biti would not sign the pact with Tsvangirai and other fringe parties.

“Contrary to the recent Press reports, PDP shall not be signing the MDC Alliance agreement on August 5 (today). This is because negotiations on substantive issues have not yet been concluded, in particular, ‘Coalition framework’, seats distribution across the country and the 21 seats previously held by the party that are now under Zanu PF control.

Until these issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the party, no agreement shall be signed,” party secretary-general Gorden Moyo said in the communication to party members.

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the negotiations had hit a snag.

“We have not reached an agreement with them (PDP) yet. They have made it clear that they are not signing,” Mwonzora said without explaining.

Reports also indicated the PDP was demanding 53 seats countrywide anchored on the 21 seats previously held by members recalled by Tsvangirai in the mayhem that characterised the 2014 split.

Biti broke away from Tsvangirai following the 2013 electoral defeat to Mugabe that was marred by allegations of vote-rigging and intimidation.

Asked to comment on the authenticity of the letter, Moyo said: “It is not for (the) Press (but) internal party communication. Whoever gave you is mischievous.”

The memorandum said the sticking issues had been referred for discussion between secretary-generals Moyo and MDC-T’s Mwonzora “who are expected to find a workable formula”.

“The party also resolved that an ‘acceptable agreement’ shall be one that will give a majority of our MPs and councillors a fighting chance,” Moyo said.

He added that Biti would have to consult all party structures before signing.

“In accordance with our party constitution, president Biti together with his management team shall tour all the provinces ‘to consult’ the party structures before any agreement is signed,” he added.

Moyo added: “President Biti shall attend the pre-signing of the agreement tomorrow Friday August 4 (yesterday) to formally notify the leaders of the alliance about our party position.

“The president, Tendai Biti, together with a party delegation shall be attending the Saturday function in ‘solidarity’ with the initiative.”

Moyo said while the party’s negotiators continued to “grapple with the painstaking process of coalition building”, PDP members needed to continue focusing on building its structures.

Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s National People Party will also not be part of the today’s deal following a fallout with Tsvangirai despite the two being the first to pen a memorandum of understanding in April this year.

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22 Comments

  1. As said before Biti and Mujuru are not critical. Biti will continue to be a burden even after the victory. It should take it or leave it for him. Did Biti ever made a rally which attracted a thousand people. So why bother about him. Five seats allocation is more than enough. You are basically rewarding rebellion by continuing entertaining this rebel.

  2. Tawanda Mambure

    who is Biti veduwe? Haachina vanhu uyu. Ndekupi kwaakamboita vanhu. siyanai naye tione kuti achadii

  3. You cannot form a party for the sake of joining a coalition. The parties’ unity should be on a single presidential candidate, at most. Otherwise everybody should go it alone in every election position contest available. We could be witnessing another patronage system being born, leading to a blotted government in the event of an opposition win.

  4. Let Biti be, he is juss a lonely man

  5. opposition leaders must put aside their personal interest and consider the suffering of the people first. PDP demand are not only selfish but suspicious. all that is required is strategies and ideas on how we go forward to liberate our people mr Biti, demands will come later after the battle has been won

  6. Biti akuvara ne AIDS.

  7. Biti has a right to his party’s introspection& Tsvangirai is not the onwer of all opposition game in this country

  8. Let Biti go his own way. Change could still come without him. Soon he wil be demanding too much from the pact. Anoda kunyengererwa ndiye ane vote yese here.Fokofu !!!

  9. biti muCIO siyanai naye uyu bhora mberi …takapinda takadaro

  10. Witch-hunt will cost you dearly. Squander this precious time at your own peril. What a false start!

  11. Ngarivhume and Ncube… together with Tajamukas, Occupy Africa Unity Square, She Votes, Zimbabwe Yadzoka, ZCTU etc etc… these are enough for the coalition. The likes of Biti and Mujuru are timewasters who shoukd be left our of the deal.

  12. The MDC-T should actually hold out for about 180 seats (including proportional representation) because many MDC legislators are incompetent and are not visible on the ground and they don’t deserve to be in the August house . They must also give councils like Gweru and Chitungwiza to other parties eg. Transform Zimbabwe which seems like a very serious party. Let’s not ignore however, visionaries like Chamisa in the leadership of the coalition.

  13. Biti haana basa toenda mberi naSave

  14. Biti is too selfish,haana kana support iyo,he won elections under Tsvangirai,Muchaona zvenyu no more biti kana one seat haawane uyo.Tsvangirai you never lost any elections ,Mugabe knows this and you are next president

  15. The coalition is an obvious mismatch between cooperation and competition. With the latter taking the stronger precedence. Even if they do win, this mismatch will be to the wounding of the nation to one extent or another.

  16. Biti thinks he is educated but Zimbabweans no longer care anymore as they desperately need fresh leadership . Biti is not necessary anymore and is simply a sellout.

  17. Biti and Jamela same fanana. Can someone tell me WHY is BITI holding Zimbabweans at ransome? It is understandable that Mai Mujuru is against the coalition because she is without doubt a Zanu PF project. What Biti is doing is exposing himself as the worst political opportunist that this country has produced in its entire existence.

  18. For sure I do not see the need for several opposition parties. At least the majority of Zimbabweans dont even need more than one political party doing the correct thing for them in the nation. Smaller parties need swallow their futile pride and get swallowed for national good.

  19. Please dump Biti he has nothing to offer MDC

  20. tsvangirai mira wega usiyane neavo vakapihwa mari kuti vavhiringe

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