NATIONAL People’s Party and People’s Rainbow Coalition leader, Joice Mujuru has extended an olive branch to axed Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa for them to mount a strong alliance to defeat President Robert Mugabe at next year’s elections, NewsDay heard yesterday.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/VENERANDA LANGA
The development came as opposition parties push for the dissolution of Parliament in order to prepare for early elections, arguing government was now “dysfunctional” due to alleged State capture by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Mnangagwa, who was instrumental in the firing of Mujuru as the country’s Vice President in 2014, fled the country on Tuesday citing threats to his life after Mugabe’s axe fell on him.
Mujuru, who leads the PRC, a coalition of small opposition parties, said she was prepared to form an alliance with Mnangagwa whose sacking has shown the whole nation who the problem was.
“The reason why Mugabe is where he is, is because he survives on divide and rule tactics. We don’t believe that one is Mukaranga, Zeruru, Ndebele and so forth,” NPP secretary-general Gift Nyandoro spoke on Mujuru’s behalf.
“Even if Emmerson is to say ‘let’s work together, I want to be part of the Rainbow Coalition’, who are we? It’s not about Emmerson, but the people of Zimbabwe. We are not going to allow cheap talk which we believe Emmerson has gotten to know that Mugabe has deliberately divided him and Mujuru. This same cheap talk that Mujuru wanted to kill Mugabe is the same cheap talk where Mugabe is now alleging disloyalty on Mnangagwa.”
Mujuru herself told Voice of America on Thursday that Mnangagwa was free to join the “freedom train”. She said each time Mugabe wanted to get rid of his deputy he talked about disloyalty on his juniors, but this time around people have been able to identify the problem.
She said Mugabe was obsessed with power to the extent of hounding his juniors since the time of the late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo.
“If anybody is in agreement with the values of the party that I lead, which is NPP, the new coalition party, which is PRC, they are most welcome. Our freedom train doors are wide open. We will never close them to any democratic party, to any individual who feels like he has a lot to contribute to the wishes and expectations of Zimbabweans,” the former Vice President said.
Mnangagwa has already threatened to come back to Zimbabwe in the next few weeks to take over Zanu PF and the country from Mugabe and his wife Grace’s stranglehold.
MDC Alliance leader and MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai, expressed fear that Mnangagwa’s ouster could destabilise national security.
Opposition politicians said it was time to hold new elections claiming Grace has become the de facto president.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) said there was now a lot of indiscipline in the ruling Zanu PF party after Grace started dabbling in politics, with different institutions now rendered useless hence the only option was to dissolve Parliament.
“Mugabe has betrayed people by allowing someone who is not elected to be a de facto president. I am disturbed when I ponder over how we are going to conduct business in Parliament when it is actually the First Lady who is in charge,” Mliswa said.
Mliswa said various institutions that were supposed to bring normalcy in the country had been decapitated.
“The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has been rendered useless, and the Prosecutor-General Ray Goba was fired because of Professor Jonathan Moyo [Higher Education Minister] who needs to be protected. It is a circus and Parliament must be dissolved,” he said.
MDC Alliance committee member Jacob Mafume said the country now had a regent president in the form of Grace.
“Mugabe is now taking orders from the First Lady. As you know, a person who is 94 years old suffers from dementia and these are serious medical issues. We cannot pretend that Mugabe is running the country when we are not getting anywhere. This has become a national security threat and, therefore, Parliament cannot continue to sit and watch the country becoming ungovernable. The better thing is to dissolve Parliament and we go for early elections,” Mafume said.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Parliament activities had become moribund to the extent that MPs spend two hours discussing the issue of who is now the leader of government business than bread and butter issues.
“Parliament has been reduced to a party politburo meeting where factional fights take place while industries have closed and people sleep at bank queues. The country is on auto pilot. We now need a new government to rein in the economic collapse and yes, Parliament should be dissolved and elections held,” Gutu said.