THERE has been much discussion in the mainstream and social media about a pending coalition agreement between the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Joice Mujuru-led National People’s Party (NPP) as well as Zapu, led by Dumiso Dabengwa.
BY Kucaca I Phulu
The status of this agreement is itself disputed by Gift Nyandoro, the spokesperson of the NPP.
Contradicting him is George Mkwananzi, the deputy spokesperson of the PDP, who is based in South Africa.
He insists that such a coalition is in the offing and that PDP secretary-general Gorden Moyo has the power to sign an agreement binding the PDP to such a coalition.
One would have thought that once the negotiations with NPP and Zapu are completed, the negotiators would report the progress to the president and the party and not plot to run away with the process.
It is certainly one thing to insist on one possessing a power to sign a document and another to talk about the legality of such an agreement altogether.
PDP is a party that is anchored on a constitution and this constitution spells out the functions and duties of the PDP officer bearers.
Only the president of the PDP is mandated to sign any document that can legally bind the PDP and constitute a coalition or an alliance with another party or parties.
The PDP is a common law universitas and operates in terms of its constitution.
The president is the leader and chief principal officer of the party and, ultimately, accountable to the general council and convention for the vision, strategy, actions and omissions of the party, always, of course, subject to the constitution.
As the principal officer of the party, it is he who has the mandate to interface officially with other institutions and to sign official agreements with presidents of other parties.
It would, indeed, be a laughable situation were the secretary-general or other officer to sign a “coalition agreement” with principal officers of other political parties/party when it is common cause that the position of the president is that he is not party to the discussions.
Such parties do so at their own risk.
Indeed, the framers of the PDP constitution made this position clear when they stated that: “The president: shall in general, act as spokesperson of the party on major policy issues and shall be the principal public representative of the party . . .”
No other person is made the principal public representative of the party, but the president and as such the reading of the constitution by the deputy spokesperson based in South Africa is not only wrong, but fraught with mischief.
The parties that intend to sign with unauthorised individuals are, hereby, alerted of the possible chicanery into which they are about to wade and the PDP will not be held accountable for any consequences arising therefrom.
Right now, the PDP is part of the MDC Alliance.
Meanwhile, the PDP will support any approach by the NPP and Zapu to join the MDC Alliance and on that basis, we foresee the possibility of forming a bigger alliance with them under the banner of the MDC Alliance.
Whosoever wishes can sign whatever document pleases them wherever, whenever and with whoever they desire.
That document, no matter how Mkwananzi shouts, will never bind the PDP.
It will be a private dance on their part with whoever their suitor will be.
PDP does not act in a clumsy and disorderly manner as suggested by the South Africa-based Mkwananzi.
It chooses its alliance partners carefully.
And this it has done when it chose to enter into the MDC Alliance.
As earlier indicated, it will be important, through the MDC Alliance, to have other political formations in Zimbabwe, including Zapu and NPP, come on board in effecting regime change in 2018 constitutionally.
As for the officers of the PDP who are busy parroting a contrary party position, it is apparent that there is a certain section that has turned rogue.
This section has chosen a path that is outside the PDP constitution.
This section has no respect for its leadership and pretends that people can do as they please in the PDP.
That is grave and unfortunate.
It has consequences that are dire.
As PDP, we certainly cannot countenance such behaviour within the party.
PDP will have to act and excise this cancer from within itself.
If the document that Mkwananzi refers to is ever signed, then certainly it will have no binding effect on the PDP.
The course that remains open to those who are disgruntled with what the president signs or does not sign is to seek appropriate legal recourse, if any.
However, to the extent that they are not doing so, they have left themselves open to have measures taken against them to bring them to heel.