Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru’s putchist cabal has approached the MDC Renewal Team fronted by former Finance Minister Mr Tendai Biti, with a view to forming a coalition to challenge Zanu-PF in 2018 harmonised polls.
The cabal, trading under the banner of “People First”, is also understood to have made some overtures to other opposition parties in the country.
The cabal is yet to receive feedback from other parties, sources revealed yesterday.
However, Zanu-PF last night dismissed the proposed coalition, saying they had better things to focus on.
The revolutionary party’s spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said: “We have more business to attend to including the implementation of our economic blueprint Zim-Asset. That (the coalition) is their business and not our business.”
Sources close to the goings on, said a series of meetings have been held so far between the Renewal Team and the Dr Mujuru cabal, with a lot of shuttling still going on between Renewal offices in Eastlea and Mr Didymus Mutasa’s Umwinsidale residence to consult on the terms of reference for the proposed coalition.
Mr Mutasa, a former Zanu-PF secretary for administration and a staunch supporter of Dr Mujuru, is understood to have agreed to use part of his residence as offices for the People First project.
Self-imposed spokesperson of the Dr Mujuru cabal, Mr Rugare Gumbo, yesterday confirmed meetings with the Renewal Team at several intervals.
He said the meetings were still at an exploratory stage, adding there was a democracy deficit in the country that required efforts of what he termed “progressive forces” to tackle.
Renewal Team spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume, also confirmed the meetings although he relegated them to an “informal level.”
This comes a few days after Dr Mujuru was quoted in the private media presumably apologising to Zimbabweans for her role in the current economic challenges, but more instructively hinting that she was ready to challenge Zanu-PF.
Dr Mujuru’s statements drew a slew of criticism both from analysts and Zanu-PF.
Analysts said it was folly that after enjoying Government luxuries for 34 years, Dr Mujuru wanted to dissociate herself from zanu-PF and the subsequent challenges afflicting the country.
Said Mr Gumbo: “Yes, we have talked to them (Renewal Team) exploring areas of agreement. We talk to all the forces in Zimbabwe (Morgan) Tsvangirai, Welshman (Ncube), and (Simba) Makoni.
“We seem to be in agreement that there is poverty in the country, service delivery has deteriorated and that the economy is not performing.
“There is a democratic deficit in the country. We want freedom of speech and freedom of expression. These are our liberation tenets and it is our democratic right to demand them. Our aim is to include everyone.”
Mr Mafume echoed the same view yesterday saying his party was open for any talks relating to the formation of a coalition.
“We have not formally met anyone, but we are ready to meet all and anyone willing in Zimbabwe to form a coalition of democrats to assist the country overcome its political problems,” he said.
“There might be meetings that have been held, which are informal in nature. At this point, we will see how they develop and what shape they will take.
“What is clear is that we are committed to a coalition agreement with a broad sector of Zimbabweans.”
However, sources said the negotiations had gathered some currency and the discussions were now zeroing in on trade-offs of positions and possibilities of luring other parties.
“A lot of things are happening and it is just a matter of time before an announcement is made,” said the source.
Apart from working on the possible formation of a political party, the Dr Mujuru cabal is also sponsoring several independent candidates participating in tomorrow’s by-elections.