MDC Alliance leader and presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa is yet to formalise a proposed coalition deal with former President Robert Mugabe’s National Patriotic Front (NPF) just a day before the nomination court sits to decide candidates for next month’s general election, NewsDay has established.
This came after NPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire claimed last week that they had sealed the deal and what was only left was the sharing of constituencies.
“We have completed that exercise, the sharing of constituencies is not an issue, that one is done. In fact, the issue that is outstanding is to announce the number of constituencies that we [NPF] are going to contest in,” Mawarire said then.
Mawarire added that he already had a seat allocated to him along with NPF secretary for administration Shadreck Mashayamombe and national commissar Jeppy Jaboon.
But MDC Alliance spokesperson, Welshman Ncube yesterday dismissed the claims, accusing NPF officials of jumping the gun.
“There is no agreement. People are running ahead of themselves. There is no agreement with NPF and I can tell you for a fact that MDC Alliance’s highest organ, the principals’ forum has not approved or discussed an agreement with that party,” Ncube told NewsDay.
Contacted for comment over the latest developments, Mawarire yesterday said he was busy preparing his party’s candidate list for the elections.
“We are busy preparing for the nomination court,” the NPF spokesperson said.
Asked if there had been any movement on the issue of forming a coalition with Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, Mawarire said: “It’s what we are working on.”
Highly-placed NPF sources claimed the party, which has its roots in Zanu PF’s vanquished G40 faction, had been allocated as much as 80 seats across the country.
“These guys [MDC Alliance] approached us as way back as January and we have been allocated about 82 seats across the country in both urban and rural constituencies,” an NPF official, who declined to be named for fear of jeopardising last-minute negotiations, said.
On this, Ncube said the MDC Alliance had “an arrangement with individuals linked to the NPF”.
“There are constituencies that we know historically to be Zanu PF strongholds and that we believe NPF candidates could do better,” he said.
“Constituencies like Harare South previously held by Mashayamombe, the one once held by [former Masvingo provincial minister Kudakwashe] Bhasikiti in Mwenezi and another one in Bikita. They are not more than five and we cannot then translate that to a coalition pact with the party. These individuals have negotiated as individuals and will run under the banner of the MDC Alliance.”
Ncube expressed fears that an agreement likely to come hours before the nomination court sits tomorrow may cause chaos in the alliance.
“It is true there could be problems because we would need to ask our people who already have interests in specific constituencies to stand down. We have said the door remains , especially if it serves the greater good and we will support it. It is going to be difficult, but problems are always there to be resolved,” he said.
The NPF is battling to control internal fissures after its executive last week fired party interim leader Ambrose Mutinhiri and appointed Eunice Sandi-Moyo in his stead.
But the former Mashonaland East provincial minister Mutinhiri, who has ruled out going to bed with Chamisa’s coalition group, in turn fired his executive, insisting that he was still NPF leader.