MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is reportedly warming up to the idea of forming a grand coalition with other opposition forces, including Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru.
svangirai has, for months, dithered amid prodding from different quarters and a growing clamour from ordinary Zimbabweans to find common ground with Mujuru, who was kicked out of Zanu PF in 2014.
“He [Tsvangirai] is warming up to the idea, but there are serious divisions. The issue of forming a coalition, particularly with Mujuru, has become a common agenda item whenever the MDC-T national executive meets,” an MDC-T source revealed.
“There is serious resistance from the likes of vice-president Thokozani Khupe, who finds Mujuru a threat to her long-term plan to be the most powerful woman politician in the country. For some reason, Khupe has found a nexus with her previous political foe, Nelson Chamisa.”
Khupe and Mujuru, sources said, had also tried to find common ground without success during a visit to Dubai early this month.
“They tried to find each other in Dubai, where Mujuru received an award for bravery, but, in fact, that actually gave Khupe more reason to be scared that she is standing on quicksand,” the source continued.
Khupe was not available for comment yesterday.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said his boss’ position on the issue of a coalition had not shifted, adding differences were healthy for internal democracy.
“We have insisted that talking about coalitions will be putting the cart before the horse. We need to speak with a common voice on the issue of the electoral environment, build trust and then at the appropriate time, talk of a coalition,” he said.
Regarding different positions by some members of the leadership, everyone is entitled to their opinion and we allow that as a democratic party. However, the issue will be discussed in the same forum and we will come up with a common party position.”
However, party spokesperson Obert Gutu was quick to dismiss claims of divisions.
“Once again, let me make it abundantly clear that there are absolutely no divisions within our party regarding the coalition issue. And let me repeat, here and now, that president Morgan Tsvangirai’s office is handling the coalition issue,” he said.
“At the appropriate time, our party leader will publicly communicate what exactly is happening or has been happening behind the scenes.”
Mujuru’s ZimPF has also spoken about the issue of trust and ideology before a coalition can be hammered out.
Khupe and the late legislator, Thamsanqa Mahlangu, have also in the past been accused of scuppering the reunification of the MDCs, as, some speculate, they feared they would lose their lofty positions had MDC-T and MDC united.
Chamisa, who in the past has not hidden his opposition to a “marriage of convenience” with Mujuru, seemed to have mellowed.
“I am not the party and my position does not really matter because it is found within the party’s,” he said.
“For opposition parties, unity has no alternative, for in unity, we will find victory. Zimbabwe needs an organic broad tent and that is the MDC position. We now have different other formations and it is most desirable to add than to subtract, because in adding, we strengthen and in subtracting, we weaken.”
Mujuru’s personal assistant, Sylvester Nguni’s mobile phone went unanswered for the better part of the day yesterday.