Former vice-president Joice Mujuru has declared that her party remains on course to wrap up a coalition deal with MDC-T and does not see the question of selecting a leader to square up with President Robert Mugabe in next year’s elections standing in the way of the alliance.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Mujuru, who leads the National People’s Party (NPP), told The Standard in an exclusive interview that her alliance with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai will topple Mugabe, come 2018.
The NPP leader spoke at a time when questions were being raised about the two opposition gladiators’ commitment to forming a coalition after months of talks.
Mujuru had thrown the cat among the pigeons when she declared that she must lead the coalition, while some MDC-T leaders were increasingly becoming vocal about Tsvangirai’s leadership credentials.
However, the former VP said such issues could not stand in the way of the coalition, adding that people would decide whom between the two would lead the charge against Mugabe.
“Progress has been made, a huge one. What is left now is for them [negotiators] to do the finishing touches on the reports before we receive them. I am sure they are done with those grey areas, which we were not happy with,” she said when asked about progress in the coalition talks.
Tsvangirai and Mujuru signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in April, marking the start of negotiations to form the coalition.
The MDC-T leader, who also signed similar MOUs with MDC leader Welshman Ncube and Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe, said the parties had set themselves a deadline of end of July to conclude the talks.
Mujuru said if she combined her political experience with that of Tsvangirai, Mugabe was going to have a torrid time next year.
“I think that’s being unfair. We have actually done extraordinarily well because I come in and Mr Tsvangirai, who is now 17 years old in the opposition, has found his way into working with me. With my two years in the opposition, we are working to achieve those things that people think we couldn’t achieve,” Mujuru said when she was asked whether the opposition was not being lethargic in its approach to the coalition talks.
Mujuru also dsimissed as false allegations that she had joined forces with MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe in a bid to topple Tsvangirai.
She also told The Standard why she would never re-marry and spoke about her fallout with former State Security minister Didymus Mutasa and ex-Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.
l The full interview will be published in the next edition of The Standard.