Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has come under fire from members of the opposition party’s standing committee and national executive for centralising coalition talks, with his Highlands house now the venue for such negotiations.
Members of the standing committee and national executive are livid with the sudden turn of events.
They say Mr Tsvangirai only summons them to his house to witness signing ceremonies in which their participation is not sought.
Mr Tsvangirai has signed Memoranda of Understanding with National People’s Party leader Dr Joice Mujuru, MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube and Transform Zimbabwe Mr Jacob Ngarivhume.
Sources in the MDC-T said the decision to exclude other senior members of the standing committee had seen some snubbing the signing ceremonies.
“The only person whom he has trusted to involve in the discussions is Mr James Timba. He is the one who is privy to the nitty-gritties of the agreement otherwise all other members of the standing committee or national executive know very little if anything about these agreements. You will notice that Mr Timba is the one who will be running around with papers to be signed during these ceremonies and not any other official,” said a source.
“This is why Mr Tsvangirai has not only negotiated at his residence but it is the same reason why such MoUs are being signed at his residence. Other members of the standing committee and national executive are just called to witness the signing ceremony. It is the same reason why some senior members have not attended these signing ceremonies.”
When contacted for comment, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu confirmed that Mr Tsvangirai was the one now in charge of coalition discussions.
“On more occasions than one, I have stated that issues to do with coalitions are not to be discussed or negotiated in the media nor in the public domain. Once again let me advise you that our president Morgan Tsvangirai is personally handling all issues to do with coalitions,” said Mr Gutu.
Last week Mr Tsvangirai failed to explain why he had turned his residence into the MDC-T headquarters when he signed an MoU with Mr Ngarivhume recently.
“There is nothing significant. You interpret it yourself. It is a nice environment. I think everyone is comfortable, besides no one is forced to come here, but we agree. If there is an alternative place and someone is not comfortable there is nothing wrong with coming to my residence,” said Mr Tsvangirai.
Meanwhile, CONFUSION is reigning supreme in Mr Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as some parliamentary candidates on his list for the 2018 harmonised elections are distancing themselves from the party, writes Nyore Madzianike..
Mr Biti’s PDP released a list of 149 candidates.
Harare lawyer Mr Simon Chabuka, the first to distance himself from PDP, expressed dismay at being included in the list.
“I have seen the list but I do not agree with it. I was never part of the meeting held on July 11, 2017 and I do not even have an idea of such a meeting.
“I am really shocked to see my name on such a list,” said Mr Chabuka.
Although the list did not give specific constituencies for the “candidates”, Mr Chabuka was listed on number seven and is supposedly standing in Manicaland.
Mr Chabuka said he harbours no political ambitions.
“Interestingly, I have never attended any of their meetings. I was never consulted when it comes to including my name on that list. I was shocked to see my name going viral on the WhatsApp platform.
“This is not fair and someone must explain. You cannot just publish and marry people to an agenda that they were not part of.
“I have never associated with any of them,” said Mr Chabuka.
PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume said they have not yet come up with candidates for next year’s elections.
Mr Mafume said the published list had people who had shown i in contesting during the 2018 elections.
“You might see that there are one, two or three people who had shown interest in a certain constituency but we will go through a process as a party.
“You might also notice that a certain individual might be popular in that area and was asked to come forward,” he said.
Mr Mafume said the list was not his party’s final register of candidates for next year’s election.
“It is a prospective list, it is not a final list and it may have some errors. It should not be alarming that his name was included. It might be a case of sharing the same name. It might be a common mistake,” said Mafume.