HARARE – The long-awaited grand coalition that will see a convergence of opposition political parties now rests on roping in ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

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Solomon Mujuru (c) in 2009, with Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Joice Mujuru who was recently deposed as Vice President
The late General Solomon Mujuru (c) in 2009, with Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Joice Mujuru who was recently deposed as Vice President

This, analysts say, is necessitated by the lack of numbers at the MDC Renewal Team and the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, whose representation in parliament remains too small to be significant.

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The coalition needs Tsvangirai with his multitude of supporters and Mujuru who still enjoys sympathy after being purged at a time when she had endeared herself well with the grassroots of Zanu PF.

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After her purge, Mujuru remains a favourite of many who have viewed her as a sober option to take over the leadership of Zimbabwe.

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But Mujuru has remained mum on her political future while Zimbabweans continue speculating whether or not she will fight to regain prominence in Zanu PF, or if she will start her own political party.

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Elton Mangoma, the deputy treasurer general of the MDC Renewal Team which is spearheading the formation of the grand coalition said he would not speculate on Mujuru’s entry.

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He however said they already have drafts of agreements made with the majority of stakeholders they have spoken to.

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“It already tells you that we do not have a problem working with any political party. Our project is value-based and not personality-based,” said Mangoma.

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On Tsvangirai, Mangoma — who is a fierce critic after being booted out of MDC-T, — said he [Tsvangirai] has to get off his high horse for him to entertain any hopes of getting into the grand coalition.

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“When it comes to MDC-T, we do not have a problem except with Tsvangirai because he wants to be the face of opposition politics.
\nUntil he dismounts from his high horse, I think there will always be a problem. I think we need to be clearer on that,” said Mangoma.
\n“It is not only about numbers but congruence. We do not want a ‘big-man syndrome’. We have got a problem of Tsvangirai wanting to be the leader.”

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MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday blasted the renewal team as useless politicians.

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“Who exactly is the so-called MDC Renewal? These are tried and tested political dwarfs and nonentities. Why are they preoccupied with insulting Tsvangirai? These political midgets masquerading as national political figures should just concentrate on their oranges,” ranted Gutu.

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“When the time comes Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC that he leads will, of course, find common ground with other serious political players at the right time and at an opportune moment. We believe in working and collaborating with other genuine and sincere political players in our quest to dislodge the Zanu PF dictatorship.”

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He said MDC-T was the most popular political party in the country.

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But political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said the issue about numbers could only be determined after a poll, as has been the case with the first split between the original MDC.He said the number of elections won by each faction tells a lot about who really has the support.

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Ruhanya said what was more important than individual egos was a consensus driven by the goals that the coalition would want to achieve if it comes to fruition.

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“As it stands, MDC-T has the best numbers but we cannot also discount the efforts of his [Tsvangirai] colleagues that are now in the Renewal Team,” said Ruhanya.

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“But the issue here is to transform the political economy of the country. It has to be reform and custom-based other than power-based. We are more worried about the values of the coalition. You cannot ignore Tsvangirai because he has won elections.”

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Ruhanya said each one of them has their own strengths which, if they are added together, would reduce their weakness. Standard