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All set for opposition coalition launch

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MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said his party had concluded some coalition deals and all was set for the launch of an alliance of opposition parties in Harare tomorrow.

By Paidamoyo Muzulu

“With the trio of MDC, Transform Zimbabwe and Zanu Ndonga, negotiations have been concluded and we now wait for the signing ceremony at Zimbabwe Grounds this Saturday,” he said.

Posters circulating on social media yesterday advertising the event showed Tsvangira’s picture with MDC leader Welshman Ncube, People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti, Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume and Agrippa Mutambara of ZimPF.

The event starts at 9am, where Tsvangirai is also set to sign a pact with Denford Musiyarira of Zanu (Ndonga) and little-known Gerald Mubayiwa.

National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru, who signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tsvangirai earlier this year, will not be part of the alliance.

Mujuru was the first to sign a MoU with Tsvangirai in April, raising speculation that the two would go it alone in the battle to dislodge Mugabe next year, but the pact fell apart, with the two leaders at certain points tearing into each other over the sharing of constituencies.

Tsvangirai has been pushing to wrap up coalition talks with many opposition parties, but NewsDay understands the distribution of constituencies has been a major sticking issue with Mujuru and Biti.

Biti is said to be demanding 53 constituencies against the eight his party was reportedly offered.

The Biti-led PDP is reportedly driving a hard bargain since it had 20 parliamentary seats when it broke away from the MDC-T in 2014.

“The sticking issue before penning the alliance agreement is the sharing of parliamentary seats,” an insider said.

“MDC-T is not playing ball most likely because of its own internal politics, but PDP will not accept anything less than 20 seats.”

Mwonzora confirmed the parties were yet to conclude the alliance deal.

“PDP is having their meeting today (yesterday), where they will decide and formally put their demands to us for discussion on the number of seats they want,” he said.

“So we are waiting to have the formal demand that will be discussed by the MDC-T before we hold talks to finalise the matter.”

PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume concurred that discussions were still ongoing.

Mujuru was supposed to join other opposition parties under the Coalition of Democrats yesterday, but the signing ceremony was postponed to a later date after the venue was changed twice in the morning.

NPP spokesperson Gift Nyandoro could not be reached for comment to shed light on what had happened.

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