Coalition talks ongoing: MDC

Source: Coalition talks ongoing: MDC – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      26 April 2017

HARARE – The main opposition MDC reiterated yesterday that it would not be
stampeded into signing electoral pacts with other prospective partners, in
a development which could fuel anxiety among prominent politicians hoping
to be part of the mooted grand coalition to take on Zanu PF in next year’s
watershed elections.

This comes as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed memoranda of
understanding (MoUs) last week with former Vice President Joice Mujuru, as
well as his former secretary-general, Welshman Ncube – raising hopes among
expectant leaders of smaller opposition parties that they would also soon
partner the popular former prime minister in the government of national

In a statement yesterday, the MDC said however, that discussions on
potential other partnerships were on-going.

“The facts of the matter are that the two memoranda are just the beginning
of a process with both current and potential partners.

“As things stand, we are not at liberty to talk about specific MoU issues
but to comment generally on the process and the output.

“We are also unable to give indicative time-frames at this stage, save to
say in our party, alliance-building is receiving priority attention from
president Tsvangirai, in line with the exclusive mandate given to him by
the party’s national council to deal with this important matter,” it said.

“We are alive to the fact that these alliances are about the people of
Zimbabwe and not about the leaders who are engaged in the talks, and that
is why we keep coming back to update Zimbabweans at the appropriate
stages, as we did last week.

“It would be premature for us at this stage to get into the details of the
current state of the negotiations after the signing of the MoUs, as well
as going public about who else president Tsvangirai is negotiating with.

“Going public at every stage of this delicate and sensitive process would
be tantamount to negotiating in public and would be disrespectful both to
our current and potential partners.

“As a party, we have also resolved that these alliance negotiations will
be bilateral and not multilateral engagements,” the party added.

Apart from Mujuru and Ncube, analysts have said Tsvangirai could also sign
MoUs with his other former secretary-general, Tendai Biti, who now leads
the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as well as with others such as Simba
Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD).

Analysts have said the mooted grand coalition gives the opposition the
best chance of bringing to an end Mugabe’s and his warring Zanu PF’s

Optimism has been high ever since Tsvangirai and Mujuru publicly flaunted
their readiness to join forces against the ruling party, when they
appeared together in Gweru last August.

Analysts have also repeatedly said Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom
de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose husband Solomon was the
first black post-independence army commander, could provide the
much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the
smooth transfer of power if they win elections again.

Last week a bullish Tsvangirai also vowed to finish off Mugabe and his
deeply-divided Zanu PF – adding in an interview with the Daily News that
he stood ready to lead the planned grand opposition coalition.