Efforts to establish a grand coalition that will challenge President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF in 2018 have gathered pace amid reports of an international and regional diplomatic push to bring opposition forces together. Sources told NewsDay this week that Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru had already met with South African President Jacob Zuma “for consultations”.Mujuru has been in South Africa since last week where she addressed a rally in Pretoria calling on Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to find ways of taking part in the country’s electoral processes.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, sources said, would take advantage of his medical trip to South Africa to also meet with Zuma.“Mujuru has already met with Zuma and Tsvangirai will be next. The two are scheduled to travel to Europe sometime next week for further meetings,” a source said.
“Mujuru led another group of opposition parties early this year on a retreat in South Africa, where a coalition was discussed.”State media columnist Nathaniel Manheru, long-revealed to be Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba, at the weekend suggested a British international affairs think-tank would bankroll Mujuru’s travels to the United Kingdom.
“She (Mujuru) better be well, what with an impending trip to Chatham House, where she hopes to impress her British benefactors, thanks to one Alex Vines. And what impresses the British is sure to nail her on home stretch where power is got or lost,” he wrote.
But Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, while confirming his boss was in South Africa for treatment, denied the former Prime Minister would meet Zuma.“He is in South Africa for treatment and surely he cannot meet anyone in hospital. Tsvangirai is in South Africa for a specific number of days and will be coming back on Friday to resume his party duties,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tsvangirai is receiving treatment for colon cancer.Another source identified a Scandinavian country as being behind the plan to have Tsvangirai and Mujuru in the UK at the same time.
“There is a push by (country’s name withheld) to have Mujuru and Tsvangirai in Britain at the same time,” the source revealed.“They want to take advantage of this to push them closer. It is difficult at this juncture to see Britain’s role in all this, but there is clear movement in that direction.”
Mujuru’s spokesperson Gift Nyandoro was cagey when contacted for comment.“She is in South Africa at the moment and I can neither deny nor confirm that she met with President Zuma,” he said.
“I also cannot say whether she will be travelling because, in both cases, I would need to get a briefing from president Mujuru, which at the moment I cannot.”Tsvangirai has already been to Chatham House, a respected British international affairs think-tank.
According to Manheru, #ThisFlag leader Evan Mawarire will also appear at Chatham House soon.