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for positions scuppers coalition
July 07, 2013
Prospects of a grand
coalition of major political parties in the country to push President
Robert Mugabe from power in this month’s elections have faltered
because of fights over leadership positions, sources have said.
There had been moves
by MDC-T, MDC, Zapu, Zanu Ndonga and Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn in recent
weeks to forge alliance to enable the ouster of the 89-year-old
leader who has been ruling for over three decades.
Sources said the grand
coalition failed to materialise because of disagreements over the
allocation of parliamentary seats and the leadership structure.
The MDC led by Welshman
Ncube on Friday formed and announced a separate pact with Dumiso
Dabengwa’s Zapu in Bulawayo.
Speaking to journalists
in Bulawayo last week, Ncube and Dabengwa said they were not closing
the door on Tsvangirai but would only “engage MDC-T in the
event of a presidential run-off”.
Dabengwa said when Tsvangirai
approached them he had a plan already, which unfortunately was “not
He also alluded to the
fact that the MDC-T delayed in approaching them with the idea of
short change electorate
of Zimbabwe lecturer, Professor Greg Lennington said it was
a pity that the parties were failing to form a solid pact that would
increase their chances of booting out Zanu PF.
“It is very disappointing
that the parties will not stand as one large group. This is bound
to split the votes,” said Lennington. “It is not fair
on their supporters who have to stand and watch while their leaders
make such a blunder.”
“We have been in
discussion with Ncube since December and Tsvangirai only approached
me four days after the Constitutional Court ruling on elections,
surely there was no time for discussions,” he said.
The court last
week ruled that elections be held on July 31, in line with Mugabe’s
Although there seemed
to be a general consensus to field Tsvangirai as the Presidential
candidate, other posts like that of the vice-presidents have remained
While MDC-T deputy president
Thokozani Khupe has maintained that she would not relinquish her
post to MDC leader Welshman Ncube, the latter has complained that
as a senior member he should get a top post.
MDC-T spokesperson, Luke
Tamborinyoka said his party was very clear on the issue of “like-minded”
individuals coming together for a common purpose.
[Tsvangirai] has clearly said that for the benefit of the electorate,
it is better for those of a like mind to rally together.”
could not be drawn to shed light on the grand coalition saying he
was reading about it in the newspapers like everyone else.
A senior MDC-T
official, who requested anonymity yesterday, however ruled out the
possibility of a grand coalition before this
month’s make-or-break elections.
wake up to the reality that there won’t be a grand coalition
involving Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube,” said the official.
“The two have never
attended a meeting where they discussed that issue. There is no
agreement in place.”
The official also dismissed
reports that Tendai Biti would take over from Khupe as MDC-T vice-president.
“The reports by
the State media that Tendai Biti will replace Thokozani Khupe as
vice-president are hogwash. Khupe was elected at congress and Biti
is secretary-general, I really don’t know where this is coming
MDC secretary general
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, in an interview after filing Ncube’s
nomination papers, said no one had approached them to talk “about
“No one has approached
us to talk about a coalition. We have only been reading it in the
papers,” she said.
But other analysts speculated
that the Ncube-Dabengwa mini-alliance was a prequel to the grand
coalition of all the five parties which is to be announced this
They said the two staged
the event to throw off the scent of their real strategy.
Obert Gutu, who announced
last week he had been appointed Tsvangirai’s chief election
agent, yesterday afternoon hinted that negotiations for the grand
coalition were ongoing. He wrote on his Facebook wall: “And
who said the grand coalition has flopped? Surely, surely the gods
must be crazy! This morbid campaign of misinformation and disinformation
will drive some people nuts.”
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