OPPOSITION National People’s Party (NPP) leader, Joice Mujuru has lashed out at critics of her decision to ink various pre-elections deals, in the process taking a dig at MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, as the two parties haggle on the best coalition approach.
Mujuru — who a few months ago signed a memorandum of understanding with Tsvangirai as part of a process to form a grand coalition ahead of elections expected next year — last week joined the Coalition of Democrats (Code) in a move that attracted a backlash from other opposition parties, who accused her of being indecisive.
In a statement by NPP secretary-general-designate, Gift Nyandoro, Mujuru literally called Tsvangirai’s bluff, saying the MDC-T leader could not claim all the glory.
Nyandoro demanded respect for Mujuru and her party, describing coalitions as a temporary pact.
“There is never anything called professional opposition,” he said.
“From the day (the) National People’s Party led by Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru signed a memorandum of understanding with the MDC-T, it was clear in its mind that it is only through a genuine coalition of democrats that the Zanu PF regime is assured of leaving the throne of State House come the 2018 watershed elections.
“To demonstrate her humility and commitment, Mujuru signed the document on behalf of the NPP at Morgan Tsvangirai’s residence, which humility and gesture of putting the country first has been regrettably misinterpreted by political prophets of doom as a sign that the NPP is second fiddle to (the) MDC-T.
“Such thinking is very unfortunate both in its primitive and archaic deficiency of the need to put the wishes of Zimbabweans above the selfish interests.”
Insiders claim MDC-T wants a lean coalition, yet Mujuru wants a broad one including peripheral parties and this has led to clashes.
“NPP is cognisant of the heroic efforts of colleagues of the united MDC in opening democratic space and discourse in this country,” Nyandoro said.
“NPP does not only limit that recognition to Morgan Tsvangirai, but other comrades like Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, Elton Mangoma, Priscilla Misihirambwi-Mushonga, Lucia Matibenga, (Settlement) Chikwinya, Solomon Madzore and others, who are now in different political formations.
“The struggle is never about personalities, but the people. If, NPP joining hands with fellow Zimbabweans, who believe in liberating Zimbabwe, like Dumiso Dabengwa, Simba Makoni and others mentioned above is a crime, then NPP stands guilty as charged and Mujuru’s understanding of coalition would, therefore, be different from the one contemplated by prophets of doom.”
Nyandoro said opposition parties needed to build trust before a grand coalition becomes a reality.
“NPP is alert to the fact that coalescing of multi-opposition parties is never an easy task. It’s a grand course of action that requires unparalleled fortitude. It is never an event, but a well-thought-out process, which is unfortunately running against time,” he said.
“The elaborate nature of the task involves cultivation of faith and confidence amongst the parties involved. It calls for disciplined engagement of competing ideological thought processes, mature evaluation of the intended destination and the need for bona fide and reflective association.
“Regrettably, it is this painstaking process that detractors of the people’s liberation have sought to interpret with tongue-poisoned arteries.”
Nyandoro said Mugabe had poisoned the political environment and opposition forces needed to be alert to “political misfits and midgets peddling falsehoods that seek to divide and poison the relationship between NPP and MDC-T on the basis of conspiracy theories”.-Newsday