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New glitches in opposition coalition


An electoral alliance of opposition parties signed on Saturday continues to experience some glitches, with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti now at the centre of a controversy amid revelations that his party is member to two opposition groups pursuing different alliances.


Despite signing with MDC Alliance at the weekend, Biti yesterday assumed the chairmanship of the Coalition of Democrats (Code), a rival grouping comprising nine opposition parties.

The controversy deepened with the expulsion of MDC leader Welshman Ncube from Code on allegations that he was now a member of the MDC Alliance, a grouping that Biti also joined on Saturday.

Biti yesterday attended a meeting of the MDC Alliance as well as Code.

The alliance spokesperson, Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume, said: “All principals that include Biti attended the inaugural meeting and we were discussing how to move the coalition forward. We have also agreed to have regional launches starting with Bulawayo.”

Contacted for comment yesterday, Biti said there was no conflict of interest in his involvement with both Code and MDC Alliance, adding he was on a mission to bring the two political formations together.

“Code and MDC Alliance are not in conflict. They are not mutually exclusive of each other,” he said.

The former Finance minister will chair Code for the next two months.

Code held a meeting yesterday to review Biti and Ncube’s fate following their turn-up at the MDC Alliance rally.

Code principal and Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) president, Elton Mangoma said Ncube was fired for being part of MDC Alliance, while Biti was spared because, although he attended, he did not sign the alliance deal with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“PDP has said they didn’t sign anything and they are unlikely to sign anything and that they are committed to Code and that when they are talking to MDC Alliance, they are really looking and wanting to negotiate for a broader alliance, which is inclusive of everyone. Biti is now chair,” Mangoma said.

But MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi refuted allegations that they had been fired.

“No one has the capacity to fire the MDC from Coalition of Democrats. It is stubborn, malicious and foolish for anyone to lie about our exit,” he said, adding they voluntarily pulled out of the group last week.

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