Source: MDC-T, NPP dread rural constituencies | The Herald July 26, 2017
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
MDC-T has demanded that Dr Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP) confine itself to rural constituencies if the two parties are to form an alliance ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.
The party, sources said, declared that it would only compromise on Harare South — a known Zanu-PF stronghold — if NPP is interested in urban constituencies.
This is over and above setting July 31 as the deadline for coalition talks with interested parties. But NPP would have none of this given the dominance of Zanu-PF in the countryside.
The party said it wanted a win-win situation for all parties, adding that it was not aware of any deadline to coalition talks. In any case, NPP said the negotiations were voluntary.
Briefings from close sources were that MDC-T was also of the position that its leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai should be the natural leader of the coalition and that aspect was non-negotiable.
NPP confirmed MDC-T’s demands, but trashed them saying they were not being forced to form a coalition. NPP spokesperson Mr Methuseli Moyo ruled out any deadline saying they would continue to negotiate as long as there was need for discussions.
“We are not aware of any deadline,” said Moyo.
“The negotiations are purely voluntary. It is not like there is anyone forcing us. We will negotiate for as long as there is need to. There is no reason at this juncture to fast track the negotiations.
“We are certain we will agree. There is therefore no reason on our part to presuppose anything.
“In any negotiation, every party is bound to make demands. Obviously we have made our own and they have made theirs. On our side, we want a win-win situation for all parties to the coalition. No party is small, and similarly no party is big. That is why we need each other to achieve our goals in 2018.
“We are certain the negotiations will narrow our demands and the grand coalition will materialise.”
Mr Moyo refused to disclose his party’s demands.
“We have no reason to doubt the sincerity of MDC-T or any other proposed partners for that matter,” he said.
“Taking a position in a negotiation does not mean insincerity.
“I am not at liberty to give you our proposals as NPP, suffice to say our aim remains to unite with other opposition parties to deliver a fair and just Zimbabwe in 2018.”
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Orbet Gutu was tight-lipped on the matter saying they do not negotiate in the press.
He questioned why Zanu-PF was more concerned about the goings on in the opposition although the questions about the matter were brought to him by The Herald.
“Why is Zanu-PF so worried about the prospects of facing a formidable opposition coalition in next year’s elections?
“We have repeatedly stated that we don’t negotiate coalition deals in the media or in the public domain. Our stance hasn’t changed. Why is Zanu-PF crying more than the bereaved? The deadline hasn’t passed as yet and in fact, a lot of very good things are happening behind the scenes. Just be a little bit more patient.
“You will be the first to be advised when a coalition deal has been struck.”
A source that spoke on condition of anonymity said MDC-T was afraid of a humiliating defeat by Zanu-PF in rural constituencies where the revolutionary party commanded overwhelming support.
“Demands by MDC-T are a clear sign that the party knows it has no support in rural areas,” said the source.
“They are negotiating in bad faith and if they are sincere, constituencies should be shared proportionately among coalition partners in all areas.”