Former vice-president Joice Mujuru is confident her party will be part of a coalition that includes Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T in next year’s crunch elections where Zimbabwe’s opposition hopes to close ranks and unseat President Robert Mugabe.
by Everson Mushava
Mujuru told The Standard in an exclusive interview yesterday that she was encouraged by progress made in the talks between her Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party and MDC-T to reach an electoral pact.
She said Tsvangirai’s positive statements during his countrywide tour to consult MDC-T structures on the proposed coalition also showed that the two parties were closing ranks.
“I think about two, three days ago Dr Morgan Tsvangirai was in the papers informing the nation and the world that he is comfortable working with PF,” Mujuru said in the interview in Harare.
“I am sure he saw that we mean serious business.
“PF and the MDC are very serious about working for the freedom that the people of Zimbabwe are looking forward to.”
She said contrary to reports, the coalition would not be limited to ZimPF and MDC-T, but includes other opposition parties that shared similar objectives.
“We are not just talking about this freedom with Dr Tsvangirai’s party or Dr Tsvangirai himself but many other opposition parties,” Mujuru said.
The former VP who was expelled from the ruling Zanu PF in 2015 for allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe, said her party’s recent poor performance in the Bikita West by-election would not weaken her in the talks.
“We are doing it bilaterally, multilaterally and so on. So I don’t think there will be anybody questioning our worthiness at going into a coalition,” she added.
“Like what I have said already, from what you have heard from Dr Tsvangirai that he is ready to work with PF and that even from our side, we are also ready to work with other democratic forces that are ready to work with us.
“Right now it is MDC we are talking to on bilateral bases but we also have many more that we are talking to,” Mujuru added.
“So for 2018, we are sure the democratic forces will be ready to work together because the enemy we are facing is one.
“We are not enemies amongst ourselves as opposition parties.
“But we know what the Zimbabwean people are aiming to have at the moment, so our focus is to bridge the gaps that separate us so that come 2018, which is very close, we will pull together.”
The former Mt Darwin legislator also spoke about allegations that her party is suffering under the weight of factionalism and fresh charges that her husband played a key role in the Gukurahundi atrocities where over 20 000 people were allegedly killed by the 5th Brigade in Midlands and Matabeleland.