Inter-party talks: Can’t do, won’t do

Lincoln Towindo
\nThe Zanu-PF Government has not – and will not – engage any opposition party to solicit assistance in transforming Zimbabwe’s economy, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba has said. Yesterday, the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper claimed senior ruling party officials were in secret economic turnaround talks with MDC-T and MDC functionaries in Kenya and Ghana.

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The publication purported that this liaison would evolve into a creature modelled along the lines of the ill-fated inclusive Government of 2008-2013. It also claimed that the move was tailored to scuttle the possibility of MDC-T and disgraced ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s shadowy People First outfit amalgamating.

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Zanu-PF Secretary for Transport Cde Oppah Muchinguri and Deputy Secretary for Administration Cde July Moyo were said to have represented the party at the “talks”. Mr Charamba said such claims sought to confer legitimacy on People First while presenting MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as a coalescing political figure.

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Cde Muchinguri and Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere also laughed off the NewsDay report yesterday.
\nMr Charamba said: “What they are contriving through that story is to say everyone is meeting Tsvangirai, hence there is nothing untoward, nothing unusual in People First doing the same.

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“It is to naturalise an odd development where an ex-freedom fighter connects with a British-related political party, where an ex-freedom fighter drives resources with which to organise politically from the same British she fought yesterday. “So, the idea is to now contrive a non-event, paste it on the President, paste it on Zanu-PF; in which case liaison with the British, liaison with the Americans, liaison with the MDC-T becomes natural – part of the national process.

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“It’s a contrivance; there is nothing of that sort that happened. Nothing of that nature has happened.  ‘‘It is a matter of trying to naturalise the scandalous liaison that is taking place between the so-called People First and MDC-T. “They want to create a setting which appears natural in their search for an alliance which goes contrary to what Mujuru represented as a Zanla cadre.”

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Following her unceremonious exit from Government and Zanu-PF last year, Dr Mujuru and her acolytes, principally former Cabinet ministers Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa, have sought to form an opposition coalition with the likes of MDC-T and/or Mr Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party to challenge the ruling Zanu-PF.

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Backed by cash injections from Western governments, Dr Mujuru is making tentative steps to re-enter politics.