Tsvangirai rubbishes People First coalition talk

Morgan Tsvangirai

Morgan Tsvangirai

Bulawayo Bureau
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday rubbished talk that his party intended to form a coalition with the People First (PF) project which is linked to former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Tsvangirai, who dismissed Mujuru’s PF project as “having no structures”, made a startling confession at a Bulawayo rally that people are losing faith in him and the MDC-T.

This comes as the so-called grand coalition of opposition parties is failing to take-off as the parties concerned are failing to agree on a way forward.

Tsvangirai, who was addressing party supporters at a rally in Njube suburb yesterday, said his party could only partner with opposition parties that had proper structures.

“There are media reports saying my party has joined forces with a party led by a woman. It’s not true. We want to enter into partnership with other opposition parties that are competing with us so that we fight for electoral reforms in order to have free and fair elections. All we need to do is create conditions for free and fair elections in 2018.

“We welcome new people in our party but not parties that are still in the process of mobilising people to join them. We have made it clear that those who would like to work with us must first of all create institutions so that it becomes an institutional discussion, not individual discussions,” said Tsvangirai.

The MDC-T leader’s visit to a number of constituencies in Bulawayo on Saturday and yesterday was, according to sources, an attempt by the opposition to stem factionalism in the highly fractious province.

The provincial chairman Gift Banda, who is also Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo, is leading a faction while the other is led by former provincial chairman, Matson Hlalo.

Hlalo challenged Banda’s election and the High Court ruled in his favour but the party insisted that Banda was the provincial chairperson.

Tsvangirai said as far as the party was concerned, Banda was the Bulawayo provincial chairperson. He said it was up to the party to choose its leaders, not the courts.

Hlalo, who attended the Luveve rally left soon after realising that Tsvangirai and a majority of the party members supported Banda.

Tsvangirai appealed to his supporters to desist from fighting for posts but to instead focus on strengthening the party structures ahead of the 2018 elections.

“We must focus on preparing for the elections. I know that most of you are beginning to lose faith in the party. Don’t have doubts about your party. We must have faith, we must believe and we must be strong. I want to assure you that despite the challenges we will find solutions.

“If there are any people that are doubting the party perhaps they are in the wrong camp. Our mandate as a party is to defeat Zanu-PF in a free and fair election. It’s therefore important for us to destroy the forces that frustrate the party and hinder us from moving forward,” he said.

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