ZIMBABWE – Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s People First (PF) political formation has disowned “utterances” attributed to former Hurungwe West lawmaker Temba Mliswa regarding an envisaged opposition coalition.
Mliswa, who of late has been frequenting MDC-T rallies, has reportedly indicated that any viable opposition coalition should be led
by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai if it is to be able to dislodge long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe.
But PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday said Mliswa was “driving a different agenda”.
Gumbo told NewsDay in an interview that while their political outfit had established contact with “like-minded” parties in the country, there was no coalition as yet.
“We are a democratic institution and will not deny anyone their right to free speech and Mliswa has a right to that as well. I would like, however, to say he is not speaking for or on behalf of anyone connected or associated with People First when he says Tsvangirai will lead whatever coalition will be formed,” Gumbo said. “Mliswa has a different agenda from our own. We will not be drawn into speculating what he wants, but it has nothing to do with us. When we are ready, we will make a pronouncement as always and Mliswa will definitely not be the one to do that.
“No decision has been made and in any case we are still very much at the consultation stage. We are consulting with other democratic forces for a possible coalition, but to now pronounce anything related to its leadership is a bit premature.”
While addressing MDC-T supporters in Chikomba last weekend, the former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson questioned Mujuru and her group’s democratic credentials. “If you are looking for a coalition outside Zanu PF, you have no choice because Morgan (Tsvangirai) is the leader, because he has more seats in Parliament than you guys who are coming on stage. So don’t hate me for saying that,” he said.
“Yes, I looked into the People First policy document where they say all political parties must be under her. Well! As who? And for what reason? And what are you (Mujuru) bringing to the table?”
Mliswa berated the PF group, saying they were not yet a notable or recognisable institution.
Gumbo said his party had made contact with a number of other opposition politicians.
“We have made contact with (Dumiso) Dabengwa, Simba Makoni, Tsvangirai and others, but we continue to consult for a sustainable alternative political voice that will help our people,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement yesterday, Gumbo mourned the death of former Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who died in Bulawayo early this week, describing him as a dedicated liberation war hero.
“It is sad that such a sober-minded person, who comprehended fully the liberation struggle and the current socio-political and economic problems bedevilling the country at this juncture, when the revolution is at a crossroads, is taken away at a time his sober political character is needed most.” newsday