NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) leader, Joice Mujuru has roped in several opposition leaders, among them MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai, to grace her party’s inaugural convention in Harare today, as part of efforts to keep the coalition talks on track.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday confirmed that his boss would attend the NPP convention, but “as a friend”.
“President Morgan Tsvangirai has been invited to the NPP convention tomorrow (today) and he intends to go there as a friend and speak in solidarity. We are very much aware as to the source of the crisis that we face as a country and the source of that crisis is none other than President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF,” Tamborinyoka said.
“Moreover, president Tsvangirai is going there as leader of the MDC Alliance, with the intention of witnessing the solidification of yet another political institution that we are currently in discussion with in line with the demands of the unification of the democratic voices.
“Those bilateral talks are still to be concluded and president Tsvangirai will be going there as a friend and not as an enemy or competitor.”
NPP secretary-general-designate, Gift Nyandoro also confirmed Tsvangirai’s attendance and described the convention as historic.
“The day is historic because it is going to be a day where NPP has invited friends and we have sent out written and electronic invitations to all the political opposition parties we perceive to be pro-democracy.
“We have equally invited civic society, we believe they are the public watchdog of processes, which are done in the name of democracy and we have nothing to hide, so we have invited them,” he said, adding various heads of church denominations, student bodies and trade unions had confirmed their participation.
“Tomorrow (today) is an historic day in the following regards: Firstly, the NPP will officially and legally be given birth. Secondly, this is the first time that the NPP is going to make a public announcement in terms of depth and substance with regard to what it stands for as a party whose origins are rooted in the war of liberation ideology.
“Thirdly, it is tomorrow (today) that the NPP is going to send a clear message that the journey to finish the unfinished story of the liberation ideals, their fulfilment and total implementation has begun.
“So key from the president’s message would be to give Zimbabweans the political map and economic map of how to extricate our country from the number of problems that it is being engulfed in.
“Fourthly, tomorrow (today) is the day where the elected and appointed national leadership of the party is going to be confirmed.”
The convention cames at a time when there are fears of mass exodus from the fledgling party, owing to differences in ideology.
There are high hopes that Tsvangirai’s attendance would reignite chances of broadening the opposition parties’ envisaged electoral alliance ahead of the 2018 elections. This is despite the fact that Mujuru snubbed the signing ceremony for the MDC Alliance attended by seven opposition leaders at the weekend.