Mujuru Aides In Nasty Brawl Over Media
By Staff Reporter
Harare, March 30, 2017 – NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) senior officials Jealous Mawarire and Gift Nyandoro were Thursday caught up in a fierce brawl which could be a major PR setback for the Zanu PF offshoot still trying to convince skeptics it was different from the ruling party.
The physical dispute, sources say, was sparked by a story in one of the dailies on Thursday in which Nyandoro, who is party leader Joice Mujuru’s spokesperson, appeared to dismiss earlier statements by party spokesperson Jealous Mawarire concerning NPP’s position on who should lead the envisaged grand coalition among opposition forces.
In the story, Nyandoro said remarks by Mawarire that opposition leaders who endorsed MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai during a National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) demonstration last week jumped the gun, were personal and should be treated as such and not as the party’s position.
“For the record, if you read Mawarire’s statement, it is clearly indicative that he was simply expressing his personal views which are not the president’s or party position. Rather he used the ‘I’, being to say he was simply expressing his opinion which we think is the democratic right of any citizen,” Nyandoro was quoted as saying.
Nyandoro, however, said due process should be followed in choosing a coalition leader and those that endorsed Tsvangirai were doing so in their personal capacities.
Mawarire was Thursday forced to issue a statement also countering Nyandoro’s comments, adding that the Harare lawyer was only spokesperson for Mujuru and not the entire party itself.
“Although, as a senior party member Mr Nyandoro is aware of the party position on different issues, his brief as Presidential Spokesperson does not include speaking on behalf of the party,” Mawarire said.
“The National People’s Party as we have previously stated, is committed to working with all democratic parties but would not be dragged into joining the Mugabe initiated and Didymus Mutasa broadcasted, coalition leader endorsement mantra which seeks to anoint a leader outside a proper, democratic and people- driven process.
“We are a People’s Party; therefore our people have to been afforded their constitutional right to choose the leader they want to represent them. We believe that coalition partners will come up with an agreed position or strategy that they would use to choose the leader of the coalition and as a party, we are prepared to support any leader who comes out of such a process.
“We urge our members and our media partners to ignore unofficial statements by party officials who are not mandated to speak on behalf of the party.”
Nyandoro was reportedly left with a fractured leg following an alleged beating by Mawarire.