By Sij Ncube
Bulawayo, August 23, 2013 – Out-going Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has rebutted claims that President Robert Mugabe is wooing the party to join his new administration following last month’s disputed elections.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai together with a breakaway faction of the MDC party formed a coalition government that managed to ease the country’s economic crisis which saw Zimbabwe record world beating inflation and food shortages.
Mugabe, who was sworn in on Thursday to serve another five year presidential term despite a disputed outcome, is expected to name a new cabinet next week.
But speculation has been swirling that Tsvangirai, in response to Mugabe’s overtures, had sent emissaries to the Zanu PF leader to engage in negotiations which could culminate in the allocation of ministerial positions to some of his party’s leaders.
Qhubani Moyo, the secretary for policy implementation in the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC party on Friday claimed that Tsvangirai was engaged in negotiations with Mugabe over allocation of cabinet posts to some of the MDC-T leader’s lieutenants.
“So Tsvangirai has dispatched a team to negotiate with Zanu PF for positions,” wrote Moyo on his Facebook profile posted Friday.
“What hypocrisy. With one corner of the mouth you say this and with the other corner something else. Let’s see how the (Samuel) Sipepa and (Sekai) Holland team will squeeze out of Mugabe. And in any event if they want to be so much in Mugabe s government why did they miss his party?” questioned Moyo, whose party broke away from Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party in 2005 over irreconcilable differences.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told Radio VOP that he was unaware that Mugabe has approached the MDC-T party to be part of the new government.
“We have our own able cadres. Why should we reward people we soundly beat in the elections. Tsvangirai is finished. We don’t need them,” he said.
But MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said it was false that Tsvangirai had sent emissaries or that the party was in negotiations over ministerial posts in Mugabe’s new administration.
“We don’t recognise his stolen victory why should we want to give him a semblance of legitimacy which he does not have? It is all not true. There are no negotiations taking place. I am not aware that Zanu PF has made any overtures,” said Mwonzora.
The MDC-T national executive council is understood to have resolved that its elected legislators and councilors occupy their seats in Parliament and in municipal councils.
There were suggestions that the aggrieved party should boycott participating in Parliament and municipal bodies in which the party won, in protest to what the MDC-T party claims in a stolen election. Meanwhile, the MDC-T party says failure by the majority of African leaders to attend Mugabe’s swearing in ceremony on Thursday was a clear statement that the continent “is ashamed to be associated with the robbery of 31 July.”
“The fact that only a handful of serving African leaders attended today’s (Thursday) farce at the National Sports Stadium indicates how Mugabe’s self-proclaimed victory remains a non-issue in Africa. In fact, there were more former Presidents than serving African leaders at the banquet, an indication that the 89 year-old is viewed as a figure of the past.
His continued presence on the political stage is an embarrassment not only in SADC but to the rest of Africa which is increasingly resorting to younger leaders with a grasp of how to manage a modern economy in the brave 21st century,” the party said in a statement.