Prominent businessman Strive Masiyiwa has poured cold water on claims that he will lead a coalition of opposition parties to challenge President Robert Mugabe in next year’s elections.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
The Econet founder, speaking through his office in South Africa yesterday said he was not interested in the debate about his candidature, mainly ignited by stories published in the state-controlled media.
Zanu PF officials have also made claims that Masiyiwa could be behind a new political party that would allegedly challenge Mugabe and other opposition parties in the polls.
“Mr Masiyiwa left Zimbabwe on the 22nd March 2000 [17 years ago], and has not been in the country since,” his office said in response to questions from The Standard about the mogul’s alleged political ambitions.
“He does not follow or even read what is written about him in the local press.
“If you study election cycles in Zimbabwe over the last 20 years, you will find the same pattern; fabrications, speculations, and fake news. He does not comment, and life goes on until the next election cycle.”
The latest allegations were that Masiyiwa could be roped into a new party spearheaded by war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa.
However, Mutsvangwa told The Standard in interview on Friday that the allegations were false and claimed the rumours were being peddled by a Zanu PF faction known as G40.
“There is no truth in that at all,” he said, when asked about the alleged links with Masiyiwa.
“It is a creation of G40 because they are scared as their ascendency in Zanu PF is under serious challenge and it’s a matter of time before they fall.
“So they are coming up with a number of allegations against the war veterans. They masterminded the expulsion of war veterans from Zanu PF for no good reason. “
It is believed that a faction linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa controls State media.
Meanwhile, former Industry minister Nkosana Moyo has told The Standard that he is considering overtures by different political players for him to contest in next year’s elections.
Moyo has been touted as one of the potential candidates for a coalition against Mugabe.
Two likely coalitions of opposition parties seem to be taking shape in Zimbabwe with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and ex-prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai in one hand a plethora of opposition parties grouping around the Coalition of Democrats.
A so-called third force is said to be unhappy with the calibre of opposition leaders and could spring a surprise before the 2018 polls.